“Nothing is what is seems when it’s free …”
Sage words from Mike Lister, one of the panel members at SXSC2. How many of us have been seduced into attending a boring meeting by the promise of a quality buffet or a glass of decent wine? Or maybe you’ve handed over your personal details to a website in exchange for a 20 per cent voucher off the price of something or other? Surely there’s no harm in Facebook, Google etc because they are useful services and, besides, they are free?
The marketing guru added a commercial perspective to the discussions on the future of digital technologies. Earlier, keynote speaker and author of Digital Vertigo, Andrew Keen (who wasn’t too upset at being dubbed ‘the antichrist of the Internet’) called for us to “fight again the economy of free” and urged debate on new business models and the urgency for widespread data literacy, before all our personal information ends up in the virtual vaults of the big social media companies. He even asked us to think seriously about government restrictions on the free market of information.
According to Mike, Facebook isn’t a social network, it’s an advertising stream: Google isn’t a search engine, it’s an avid collector of personal information for its own financial devices.
According to Andrew, many web marketeers think ‘privacy is for old people – like a gas light, it will just fade away’.
Food for thought? Prawn vol-au-vent anyone?