This is part two of Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek Smith data mining exploration. This podcast shows how powerful data mining is with only a few information from the web that you leave around while surfing the web or participate in social networks.
The podcast starts like this:
Kai Ryssdal: Somewhere in the back of our minds, we all probably know that companies are keeping track of us. They want to know who we are, what we’re interested in, they want to know what we buy — and how all that affects what we’re likely to buy in the future. It’s called data mining. Best estimates are it’s a $100 billion a year business in this country.
Yesterday, Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek Smith told us how marketers are using our data to get better at selling things to us. Today, some personal examples.
To be or not to be a transparent customer?
Some of you might think that the idea of a transparent customer or person is kind of creepy. Analysts can tell a lot about you, your buying and activity habits with a few easy to access information. Should we be concerned about this or isn´t this the modern world of tomorrow where privacy is getting less precious than it was. For sure this is a complex topic with many pros and cons to discuss. But are we really able to withhold ourselves from the open information society? Do you want to abstain from the benefits that come along?
It starts with leaving your credit card information at amazon because it is comfortable, using social network pages to stay in touch with friends, family and acquaintances. Who takes the time to write a mail and select the people who might be interested in it, when just posting a comment on your Facebook wall is so easy.
Career experts recommend to manage your online profile to get ahead in you job. A good profile on LinkedIn or Xing can lead to many interesting job offers without you having to do a lot except of keeping your online profile up to date with interesting career related information.
When it comes to self promotion on the web and using the benefits in trade for privacy the sky is the limit. Think about platforms as YouTube or MySpace. People no longer have to wait until a big record company comes along and discovers them. Think about celebrities like Lily Allen or Justin Bieber. Would they be as known as they are today if they did not gave up their privacy?
Even though this is a difficult topic to discuss you already know that I let myself clustered and analysed in exchange for the benefits. For now I am not concerned about getting individualised advertisements or coupons. It seems like a good trade for me.