Last month, we attended a great mashup event about privacy and the new Like phenomenom: Like: like me, love my data
Tony Fish introduced the panel, raising the point that in companies quest for our personal data, we, as individual, have to think about where we are on the public-private data sharing continuum.
He brought the idea that there are 2 forms of public data:
- the paper/radiowave style public (tv, paper press) which has a very short lived footprint
- the internet style public (social media, youtube, twitter, everything internet based etc) which stays for years to come, with implications that we are still trying to understand and often learning at significant cost (at least in terms of reputation, brand etc).
Tony also raised another point which is that the way we perceive this continuum not only depends on our mood (on those bad days, we don't share as much) but also on the value we feel we get from the service we share data with (or actually give data to is probably a more accurate description in many cases).
The backlash recently experienced by Facebook and Google wasn't surprising. While many argued that too much data considered private was made public without the user's consent, from the end user point of view, there was probably a lack of perceived gained value.
One suggested we should actually own our data and trade it with websites for a cost.
If services would deliver more value, such thoughts wouldn't exist, but there is clearly an issue of lack of value to date.
So if you are a website owner, when you ask your users to give something (eg, I like this), it isn't abnormal that they expect something back in exchange right away, not 12 months down the road. The idea of instant reward is built-in many of the most successful sites, as a way to lower the barrier of engagement.
Qype has enabled such feature using the LikeCube service, with their quick rating game. Any visitor (anonymous new user or registered qyper) can play this game which allow you to rate on the fly places you might like and get instantly rewarded for sharing this info with personalized recommendations. A neat way to engage users to share their data with clear benefits.
So how are you going to entice your users to share their data?