Monday, February 9, 2009

Privacy, Advocacy, and Conversations: What Does It Mean For Advertising?

Nicholas Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 15 years. He is the Digital Strategy Lead and founder of Chicago-based digital marketing firm lonelybrand, where he directs the creation and execution of digital marketing programs that generate measurable signups, conversions and sales.

My recent article about Google Latitude was designed as an open ended, positive review of a service that presents many opportunities to advertisers. Similar to discussions I have had around Facebook Connect and Web 3.0 concepts, the conversation quickly turned to privacy.

@PositiveTakeOn responds:
"It is great to see that you are focusing on the things that are really great about Google Latitude, like the way it will connect the off/online words more closely and allow for deeper interaction between brands and their fans. It's great because everybody else seems to be focused on the negative side of this product like privacy issues, which granted, need to be take into consideration, however essentially Latitude is a brilliant concept and is a smart product to use."

Sandy Manisco Brillowski adds:
"Privacy concerns seem to go hand-in-hand with interactive technology and yet younger generations embrace it, to the surprise of their elders. Are the skeptics just getting old? Is it the generation gap, or is it that we don't want our spouses to know where we are?"

Stuart Newton says:
"Personally I have too many privacy issues with the software at the moment (even though I probably fall into the techno-generation Sandy mentioned), but guess we'll have to see if the public embrace it and any problems that arise from its use."

Kristin Maverick (@kmaverick) notes:
"Latitiude could have added an extra boost to the campaign had this service been around when they did it. You could have seen where the locations were right on your phone. Otherwise, I'm sticking to my thoughts on it being creepy for personal use."

The idea of privacy and what should or should not be communicated with the general public via social media is clearly a sensitive and emotionally charged topic.

As advertisers move into heavy use of Web 2.0 (and what Web 3.0 tech exists today) what will the response from consumers be? We saw several failures with Facebook Connect, but were those early attempts indicative of overall sentiment, or were they just bad executions?

In a not-too-distant future, advertisers will have a profile that outlines who your friends are (via social networks), what you are doing right now (via microblogs), what kind of products you like (via reviews posted on e-tailers) and what you had for dinner last night (via online reservations and reviews). The question is how knowledge of this will affect consumption, and whether or not the world is ready to share personal information in such an open and ubiquitous way.


> Google Latitude Has Great Advertising Potential

> Interview: Joshua Karp, Founder and Publisher: The Printed Blog

> Book Review: The Nature of Marketing: Marketing to the Swarm as well as the Herd by Chuck Brymer
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