A consumer’s ode to open data streams.

October 4, 2009

In the pre-commercial world consumers had very limited number of choices of products and services. Hell, they weren’t even consumers back then. They were happy with what they got. Take news: One leaflet every now and then was more than enough.

With the 20th century came the consumer culture. Suddenly there were products and services for every taste. Kiosks were bursting with all kinds of news publications.

Then, after the market-based differentiation, came consumer-based personalization. The rise of the Internet played a major role in this shift making it easy for the consumer to interact with the company. An example: now you can compile your own personal “newspaper” with Netvibes.

The next step is the automated personalization. With all the information in the open web, the social media, the consumer doesn’t need to do a thing, but enjoy the personally relevant content. DailyPerfect knows what news you’d like to read just by typing in your name.

There’s one problem with the automated personalization, though. It’s called the digital divide.

It means that the people without a web presence are left out. Some of them are just not digitally savvy or haven’t found their place in the social media. Others are the same people who stay far away from all the loyalty programs and their data-gathering schemes. If there’s no data on you available, it’s quite hard to personalize.

I’ve always liked my loyalty cards. I have no problem with someone saving my time and effort.

And I most certainly like the social media.

The conclusion?

All hail the open data flow!

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