11/12/13
Posted at 0:10h, 12 Nov 2013 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

Unless you’ve opted out and there’s still time, your name and face can be used in Google ads, starting today. Not everyone who uses Google products is a sophisticated web user, and how long before there’s a hue and cry – not to mention a lawsuit? (We’re personally looking forward to the SNL parody, which should be a wake up call to those who don’t read the fine print or follow the tech press.) But whatever happened to the days when the customer was always right? Has the faceless world of online changed that? Careful there.

We are personally not fan of walled gardens: they tend to put too much power in the hands of the few, and what subsequently tends to happen is that people react with their feet. Google recently changed the comments section on YouTube in an attempt to drive people to Google+. Oops, we mean to prevent pedophiles and the likes from commenting. This ditty pretty much sums up users’ reactions: “F*ck You, Google+”, An Adorable Song About YouTube’s New Comments. Remember Beacon? It was a FB program that announced your purchases/song or movie selections to your friends. You had 10 seconds to opt out – not a long time, if you could find the damned opt-out button at all. There was a class action lawsuit (Supreme Court notes ‘disconcerting’ Facebook settlement, will eye future charity deals). Yes, FB did remove Beacon, and in lieu of offering remuneration to those harmed, the company gave to a charity – and gave the charity a board member from FB as well. Consumers were cut out of the settlement. The lawyers were paid.

We’re seeing the first mobile generation, and teens in particular have been deserting facebook in droves. For messaging apps. They don’t want to be tracked – and/or marketed to – by everyone and their mothers, and in this case, literally. Google, Facebook, whomever – you may believe that these behemoths have it all locked up, but we’re still in the nascent days of technology.  And what man cannot remember – or never bothered to learn in the first place – he is doomed to repeat.

In the early days of the web, there was a so-called great innovation called ‘push’ technology. News was literally pushed to you. Showed up on your screen. At first it was the Cool New Thing. Then it was intrusive. Then it was annoyed. Finally, it was uninstalled.

Some things never change: the customer is always right. And can be pushed just so far. If three 20 year olds can build healthcare.gov, (OK, it’s not perfect, either, but how much did the government spend on the site that doesn’t work at all?) how long before the kids gets really pissed and decide to disrupt the disruptors? It’s coming. And the market always decides. Onward and forward.