Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Assumption 10 – Web 2.0 and message in an increasingly fine grained demographics context

Posted in reexamining the fundamentals, Web 2.0 marketing by Timothy Platt on March 3, 2010

In a way I started this posting with Assumption 7 a few days ago, then looking at message and its ownership and management. I continued this with Assumption 8 and a brief examination of how this plays out in the context of community and cultural identity. I want to look at this from yet a third perspective here with a focus on yet one more key word and what it increasingly does and does not mean – demographics.

The core concept of demographics is in statistical modeling and in the accumulation, organizing and analysis of data rendered anonymous to any single source included. That was quite satisfactory and sufficient where modeling was of necessity crude insofar as the best that could be accomplished was still limited to a coarse grained partitioning. If Web 2.0 and the interactive web have done anything through it is in tremendously, and even overwhelmingly increasing the flow of data available for analysis. Now we look to not just fine-grained demographics but that oxymoron of individualized demographics – case studies to keep to a more familiar terminology.

Level of resolution readily and sometimes all but unavoidably available come into direct conflict with personal privacy and the issues of protecting personally identifiable information with identity theft only one possible undesirable outcome where this is not managed effectively.

From a business perspective much of Web 2.0 is about targeted marketing and with increasingly effective resolution as that is key to cost-effectiveness – targeting progressively finer and finer grained demographics and even specific individuals with marketing content that they would individually be most positively receptive to.

As much as we have seen in this already, we have still just seen the beginning of a massive set of changes and challenges, and in the collecting, analyzing and use of all this information, but also in it access, distribution and safekeeping.

I bring this up as a source of fundamental assumptions that we will all be forced to examine and reexamine.

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