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December 10, 2007

Comments

Melle Gloerich

Alan, as much as I enjoy reading this interesting blog I think you missed an important aspect of this technology. I think I can summarize it in another C (number 5 if you will): Commodity.
I do agree that 1-4 are still valid, but at Blyk it's all combined to improve the commodifaction of a user's habit and spending.
It's this niche marketing or personal ads that slowly turn our divirse world in lots of personalized worlds where there's hardly any talk , debate or shared interests between those worlds.
I advise you to read http://luke.atrc.utoronto.ca/articles/phoneur/Luke_The_Phoneur.pdf At first read it will look quite depressing (or very positive from a marketing perspective) but at a close read will show you ways of dealing with the ever evolving commodification of our world and identities.

Alan moore

Dear Melle,

what a thoughtful perspective. And thank you for saying our blog is interesting. I don't disagree with you about commodification. I am uncertain however that targeting of commercial communications commodifies us? It depends a great deal on execution - I would argue. We rail against interruptive communications. If you listen to the Radio 1 spot and also Irefer to a great deal of research people are very happy to receive commercial communications if it is relevant and targeted.

We do have the choice to opt in and opt out. As I say people need brands and brands need people, the smart thing to better enable those brands and those people that need each other to find or discover each other at the right time.

In a broader context - I struggle against the idea that the only value we have is to be a "good consumer" _ I think we have discovered there is more to this world than soap powder, cars and other material goods. To be exact - I feel that system is brankrupt. However, you don't change the world over night and we wait and see as to how the next generation reacts and responds to this world.

Brands also become commodities like mobile operators for example.

For better or for worse I am wedded to my profession - my mission is to try to help the companies I work for to enable them and their customers to better engage with each other. Which means value must be created on both sides. Utopian? I don't care that is what I try to do.

Read my posts on US Airways for example where I have taken issue with what I see as a badly run, greedy and uncaring corporate management.

Thanks for posting

Alan

Melle Gloerich

Dear Alan,

Sorry for the late reply, end-of-year busyness which you probably are dealing with as well.

I think we agree for 90% on this topic, but I will focus on the other 10%. I don't feel bad about consumers being commodified, tracked or becoming statistics for some parts on the long run. The problem I see is overlooked so easily: Even before a transaction is completed we've become a profile.

I do think the way to go is creating value for both sides, but the way that's implemented is mostly 'fake' value: Discount in exchange for personal information (that includes the pages I visit(ed)). I don't think people, me included, can be expected to fully comprehend what exactly is given away and what purposes it will be used for.

Your US Airways example is a perfect example of an old company that's lost connection with reality. Unfortunately only the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks for replying in this manner, that's real value :) And for what its worth: I'm probably wedded to this sort of profession as well, I think it's a good match, mainly because it is not like I want it to be yet.

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