Tuesday, September 25, 2007

using personal data within social networks

As you can guess, this topic has been intriguing me for a while. Well, in a way, it is a no brainer. It had to happen. MySpace announces it will use users persoanl data to target ads. Brad Stone from NYT reports

"The social networking companies see those pages as a lush target for advertisers — if only they could customize the ads.....

But MySpace, the Web’s largest social network and one of the most trafficked sites on the Internet, says that after experimenting with technology over the last six months it can tailor ads to the personal information that its 110 million active users leave on their profile pages....

They say the tailoring technology has improved the likelihood that members will click on an ad by 80 percent on average."

If this is indeed true, thats a big jump. Improving success rate of your impressions a few percentage points can be quite a feat, here they are talking about 80% jump.

I am sure we will soon see news feed from Facebook claiming similar expertise. It had to happen and is happening as the above article claims. From what I hear, many googlers and yahoogans have been recruited by Facebook. More information here in the excerpts from WSJ. I think what they recently released as Flyers pro is an effort in that direction.

Now the question is, will I as a user of myspace or facebook or linkedin mind if they are mining my personal data. Given that google already does that within gmail and iGoogle and still is very popular web email program and home page, people have come to expect this. If they get a service they like and want, they are willing to compromise their privacy..

But what about giving access to that information to thirdparties.. now that is something which is very dangerous. It is already happening.. it happens. The intent is not to compromise on user privacy, but there are so many loose ends when that happens on the internet that accountability disappears.

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