What do they want from us?

For this week’s reading the idea of what has happened and what is to come are concepts circling my head.

For example, in 95 theses, #89 of the Manifesto states, “We have real power and we know it. If you don’t quite see the light, some other outfit will come along that’s more attentive, more interesting, more fun to play with” (Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger, 2001).

Apple vs. Microsoftapple v microsoftAre you following me yet? From the theses this reminded me of the constant back and forth between two of the largest technology companies capturing today’s market; Apple and Microsoft.

Have you heard of the phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses?”

As Microsoft creates or launches a new product, Apple has already begun working on their next product creation, launch or technological advancement to do exactly what is stated in #89 of the Manifesto and that is to introduce something more attractive to the consumer (Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger, 2001).

However, this made me realize that the consistent battle between Apple and Microsoft may in part be due to us, the consumer . . .

But, wait!

#93 of the Manifesto does remind us of this → “We’re both inside companies and outside them. The boundaries that separate our conversations look like the Berlin Wall today, but they’re really just an annoyance. We know they’re coming down. We’re going to work from both sides to take them down” (Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger, 2001).

In the Long Tail, the authors note the following statement about consumers, “Unlimited selection is revealing truths about what consumers want and how they want to get it in service after service, from DVDs at Netflix to music videos on Yahoo! Launch to songs in the iTunes Music Store and Rhapsody. People are going deep into the catalog, down the long, long list of available titles, far past what’s available at Blockbuster Video, Tower Records, and Barnes & Noble” (Anderson, p.3).

Maybe consumers are being guided by the source?

In The Long Tail reading the author dives into this idea about profitability and how Netflix and Amazon are beginning to monetize the market. The author said, “But Netflix, where 60 percent of rentals come from recommendations, and Amazon do this with collaborative filtering, which uses the browsing and purchasing patterns of users to guide those who follow them (“Customers who bought this also bought …”). In each, the aim is the same: Use recommendations to drive demand down the Long Tail.” (Anderson, p.26)

This begins to point out the notion of companies paying attention to consumer behaviors. Companies like Netflix and Amazon are noticing our likes and dislikes, but are they taking advantage of the consumer, or just helping the consumer enjoy more or what they already like?

In a recent CNN story, the contributors highlight how it’s not just Facebook who is spying on its users, but others are doing it too. This leads me to another question of if Facebook could be the one to blame for disclosing information related to consumers patterns and behaviors. Could it be that Netflix and Amazon were able to track some of our searches, likes, comments and unfollows on social media platforms like, Facebook?

facebook spy

Posted on October 4, 2018, in Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Rebecca Snyder

    Great insights! Who can ever keep up with Apple and Microsoft? If you purchase the latest and greatest of any of either product, by the time you get it home and out of the box, the next model has just arrived on the scene. Okay, so maybe it doesn’t happen that fast, but it is crazy how quickly my iPhone 7 Plus became a thing of the past – just months after I bought it. The same seems true with all technology – tablets, laptops, video gaming systems, etc.

    I agree that many of these companies create better and better products by watching our every move, but I have also noticed that many services will begin as “free” and suddenly switch over to “upgrade.” I used an app through Facebook called Woobox to easily choose a “share” winner for my live videos. All my viewers had to do was watch the live and share the video. Woobox collected a record of those shares and then I would log in, ask it to choose a winner, and voila. I used this app successfully for 20 months for FREE. Well, imagine my surprise last night when I logged on to select my share winner and was met with that joyous “UPGRADE” screen. Grrrr. Suffice it to say that Woobox creators got the hint that this was a thing and people were counting on it so NOW was an excellent time to start charging for the service. Sometimes I love technology. Sometimes I hate it.

    Thanks for you post.


  2. I’m so glad you explored the Cluetrain Manifesto in your post. The authors were some of the earliest web scholars/legal minds and while some of it seems commonplace, there’s a lot that changes so quickly [as Rebecca’s comment points out] and even more that gets taken for granted. Even Rheingold has stated that there was never a conversation about how teaching would change once wifi was put on college campuses. The powers that be knew the internet would be a tool faculty, students, and staff would benefit from, but what about distractions? But now what would happen if we turned the wifi signal off in classrooms, etc? It’s so much easier said than done to “achieve a work/play balance”!

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