1. Mitch, this is a terrific example of what the “experts” in the social media world need to be communicating, and communicating regularly. Thanks for putting your name to such an important message.
    Although I agree that it is ultimately the individuals responsibility to protect themselves (just like not leaving a wallet full of credit cards and identification on a park bench) the problem with this new world of social technology is that most people (including many so called experts) have no clue about what’s going on behind the scenes. Do you think the average user knows what an “app” really is or is intended to do? Or what those complicated “Terms of Service” (written likely with the intent to confuse users anyway) really mean? Is it realistic to assume that the typical web user really knows how all of this intertwined technology works? Let alone, how it is used?
    I personally don’t think so. We, as an industry, have conditioned people (using this great technology against them) to believe this is a safe, friendly, helpful and fun place. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that as long as WE own the responsibility to protect them against what they don’t understand. That may mean foregoing a revenue opportunity because it’s just not in the best interest of our user community.
    Why’s that an important consideration? Here’s a crazy thought. If something’s “Free” then its users are the product. Like all businesses, if the “product” is not properly protected, enhanced and nurtured it will eventually go away (and get taken out by something seemingly better or more relevant). Therefore, over time, if our industry and the players in it don’t protect the most important component (users) which is their product (at least the raw materials) when all is said and done, if users stop, all of their billions will as well. It’s possible we are already seeing the initial evidence of that happening.

  2. Mitch, thanks for this great post which reminds us that literacy in the field of social media still needs to be defined – and taught to the next generations as part of the basic literacy. As the Fourth Revolution develops, that’s the type of knowledge we need to impart our children at school.
    Where is the limit of the private data that can be published? Yes we can probably publish 90%+ of our data but need to retain a few % absolutely private. The trick is to have the confidence of publishing a lot while still protecting the absolute private.
    We need to codify this literacy and teach our children!

Comments are closed.