I’ve got a lot on my mind. You can see it by reading about the weird variety of things I’ve posted about in the last three months. For the most part it’s about the future of marketing. Much of it is, uh, aspirational (read: wishful thinking.)
Greg posts about behavioral targeting: he’s tired of it. I think he means he’s tired of hearing about how it’s the new marketing revolution. Me too. It’s not new. Behavioral targeting is what marketing has always been, we’re just better at it now.
I don’t like behavioral targeting. Not because I don’t think it effectively sells product. I don’t like it because I think it’s destructive of identity. It’s interesting that, on the one hand, we have companies like Facebook flourishing because they protect the privacy of the social graph while, at the same time, marketers undermine that privacy to sell things.
If there’s one thing the explosion in communication forms (or even the popularity of Twitter) proves, it’s that our identities are mappable to our relationships. Relationships require trust, trust requires intimacy, the willingness to be intimate requires the ability to enforce privacy. Without the ability to enforce privacy, we won’t form real relationships.
I’m waiting for the first viable social network whose technology does not allow it to violate the expectations of privacy that Facebook built itself on and is now jettisoning. I think it will take the form of individual open-source widgets embedded in a web page that is nothing more than a way to regulate the communications between the widgets. Anyone?