To give is to receive. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear
CC image “Data storage—old and new” courtesy of Ian on Flickr
To the English-speaking reader, it looks like an inspirational slogan.
In Latin, it is a verb. Do, Dare, Dedi, Datus: I give, to give, I have given, I am given.
Data are things given.
We live in a world of data. As you navigate the Internet, you give. You are given.
Do, Dare, Dedi, Datus.
You give yourself away. Your Google searches, your browsing history, your conversations with friends.
User-generated content, marketing, and advertising are converging. You are the copy writer and the content marketing department and the customer.
The ads that you see on Facebook are echoes of your posts. This is called re-marketing.
Too much is given, and yet not enough. Your age, gender, location, and income. Your web history. Your click-throughs and conversions and bounces. Your likes and favorites.
Adaptive marketing seeks to tailor the browsing experience to the individual user. The problem is not lack of data, it is abundance.
The future belongs to the experts—to those who can interpret data. You are the expert on you.
That’s why you must become the snitch and the mole and the collaborator. We are all collaborators in this work of giving ourselves, and others, away.
Collaborative filtering is used by Amazon to recommend books. If you and I both enjoyed reading Y, the fact that I enjoyed reading X suggests you, too, will enjoy reading X.
Once upon a time, your personal details were gold. They were secrets surreptitiously mined. You had to be taken, without your awareness.
Then you learned to give. You became data. There was no more guessing at your inner life, drawing upon hit-and-miss clues like your age and zip code. You knew where your gold was, and you gave it away.
The future is convergence and integration and collaboration. You are the creator of the advertising script woven into your friends feed, the conductor of a private focus group, the expert. You are the giver of all that is gold.