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Tag: privacy

Control The Information And Control The Game

Social media is progressing in a direction where the SM application controls your information – not you.  This is a game that you cannot win unless they let you win.  Social Flights changes the rules by letting you control your own information.  As such, we are growing in popularity among entrepreneurs who are looking for a game they can win playing by a new set of rules.

Social Flights is comprised of 2 components; Social Flights Corporate and Social Flights Travel Tribes.  The corporate application provides vertical integration while the Travel Tribes provide horizontal integration.  Each is hugely dependent on the other, but the travel tribe is where the value is.

Vertical Integration involves information technology; the collection and formation of system data.  This is the information that helps groups stay in contact with each other giving the origin community a portal into the destination community (and vice versa) for a given flight.  This helps airplane operators schedule flights, and it helps communities become attractive to entrepreneurs and other communities.

The horizontal integration is where information originates and terminates.  The Travel Tribe disseminates information on the ground at both the origin and destination.  What happens in a Travel Tribe, stays in a Travel tribe.

The most important aspect of data and information control is the ability to restrict it from communities who are not part of the transaction. Nobody else can know where you are going except you and the airplane operator – that’s what makes the game private.  Nobody needs to know how much you are paying for a hotel room or travel service except you and the service provider – that’s what makes the game valuable.  Nobody needs to know what you are doing on the ground except you and your friends  – that’s what makes the game social.

A Value Game depends on the control of information.  If someone else controls the information – they control the Value and there can be no game. They also control the use of information and the information technology.  Don’t take this point likely; whoever controls the use of the information also controls the technology (vertical integration), not the other way around.   Technology is deployed to the game – the game is not deployed to the technology.  So, if you control the game, then you control the usage and the deployment of the technology; i.e., you control the value.

(Diagram credit and reference:  Seven Faces of Information Literacy in Higher Education by Christine Bruce)

How To Use Data Correctly

There is a raging debate about data usage, privacy violation, and even epic technology data hacks.  The reason is simple – data has value.  Ultimately, data are convertible to value – in some form or another, including money.  That means that data are a convertible currency.  This is not necessarily bad, however, there is a right way and a wrong way to convert data into value.

The wrong way is to steal it from it’s rightful owners

You and I, by our motions, movements, communications and the pursuit of freedom and happiness create a huge amount of data.  This belongs to each individual.  When two or more   people interact with each other – the data they create belongs to them, and nobody else.  This is a very powerful relationship that others seek to exploit.  Equally culpable are those who don’t protect their data and the data they share with people around them.

The right way to use data is to play a game

If you observe any game that people play – from children’s games to sports, and even gambling – they all have one thing in common.  Each player has the same information as all the other players.  The game is largely the ability to influence the information with data. Kids know the probability that a they will be tagged and influence their strategy accordingly – but they all play on the same field. In a basketball game, gravity behaves exactly the same for every player on the team. Poker players know the probability that their opponent will draw a flush – there are only 52 cards.   Stealing Data is like slanting the playing field, stealing cards from the deck, or changing the influence of gravity.

Fair Market Value is a Value Game

The underlying assumption of market capitalism is that everyone has the same information.  Two people holding the same Carfax report can have a rational and fair negotiation about the value of that used car.  As such, the used car market is efficient.  Package labeling, truth in advertising laws, and pharmaceutical disclaimers are an attempt to keep a market efficient so that the market can arrive at a “Fair Market Value”.

The Value Game

The Value Game being tested now at Social Flights is a real life game where real people fly to real places to do real things on real nice airplanes.  There are no badges, tokens, little pink cows, wiggly worms, mayorships, or leader boards.  The Value Game is a real economic game built on real data that real players create, own, and share only with other real players.

How to use data correctly

The Value Game will process a great deal of information to make Social Flights operate efficiently.  Data must be normalized to calculate the probability that a flight will fill so that everyone can make a rational decision about price.  Normalized data can be used to create a seat cancellation insurance policy to reduce price volatility.  Normalized data can help travelers buy an option on game 7 of the World Series, before game 5 has ended. Normalized data can be applied so the player knows exactly how much of a discount to require from a vendor for accepting a coupon. Etc.

The Value Game does not need to know your name, address, phone number, or credit score to compile useful information.  The Value Game does not even need to know such information about your friends, family, or professional relationships.  Nobody needs to know your private information –  unless they intend to use your data incorrectly.  After all, thieves need to know who to restrict your data from – you.

Data: The Ultimate Shared Asset

People always ask me how The Value Game will work and how The Value Game will scale, and how The Value Game will make money.  These are great questions, albeit straight from the b-school crib sheet; good questions nonetheless.

At first glance, The Value Game as we are deploying in Social Flights looks like a rich kids party barge.  The idea is that people can share an airplane just like they did with that stretch limo on prom night.  Yes, the idea is the same – the jet is a shared asset and status on prom night is special.

The Value Game also produces a lot of very important data that is owned by the players.  So when the passengers arrive at their destination, their data can now transform the hotel into a shared asset. As such, a new Value Game plays again.  If the players own their data, and they only share it with the other players in the associated Value Game, they can command substantial value for the collaborative purchase of hotel rooms – or any shared asset.

Likewise, the players will need restaurants, tour guides, golf courses, concert tickets, entertainment, etc.  Their data – if they own it – is their discount coupon…like a Group Coupon, except relevant to the need and exercisable on-demand.  By the time the trip is over, their Value Game data can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in discounts for the individuals in a travel tribe if, and only if they own their data.

The next time they want to take a trip, their data is not only a discount coupon; it becomes a passport to opportunities that money cannot buy. In the End Game of the Value Game, data are the shared asset.  This works if, and only if people own their data and they can share or restrict it from view of others.

Seriously, think about that for a minute.

You give your data away for free.  Companies collect this data and they have no intention of sharing it with you.  Data is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Why?

Aren’t most life lessons about figuring out who is NOT playing The Value Game and avoiding those people and situations?

A New Generation of Social Business Methods

A New Generation of Social Business Methods

Now on Kindle and IPad!!

The next Generation of electronic accounts:

There are approximately 5.5 Trillion dollars worth of retail transactions made face-to-face in the U.S. driven by a 400 Billion dollar advertising industry. Many analysts believe that the next platform for money transfer will use mobile devices (as clients for web transactions) in lieu of debit cards or cash.  Companies such as PayPal expect to be the greatest beneficiaries of this trend and are predictably promoting and developing the transaction modes.

The big hurdles will be security, friction, and privacy

Mobile to web transactions introduce any number of hacking opportunities.  Furthermore, PayPal, The Wireless Carrier, Marketers, The Bank, The Federal and State governments, and a host of other intermediaries are taking a piece of your paycheck and your data profile along with that Slurpee you just texted.

A huge amount of anti-social friction is imposed on the consumer in the name of convenience

Most people are unaware of the latest technology in debit cards that will allow them to transact in social currencies.  Vendors can issue electronic coupons directly to a customer’s debit card.  New social media applications allow people to exchange coupons from different companies among each other without necessarily converting them to dollars.  This scrambles the data, preserves anonymity, and escapes taxation.  Yet they can be just as easily redeemed for dollar denominated discounts at the point of sale.

The Social Value Game

Most people are also unaware of a new class of business methods being deployed in social media based on The Social Value Game developed by The Ingenesist Project.  The Social Value Game allows people to leverage their social influence around a product or service to attract coupons from companies willing to sponsor the customer’s social activity in their marketing strategy.  As such, social priorities will drive Wall Street priorities

A New Generation of Social Business Methods

When combined, these two technologies can vastly reduce the frictions of electronic commerce, reduce advertising, improve anonymity, scramble personal data and increase the security of transactions while introducing a strong bias toward social value in commerce.  Instead of encrypting the device, these technologies encrypt the currency. At the point of sale, coupons will enter an exchange pool and the customer will receive their discount.  In effect, they are selling their access and their data instead of having a gatekeeper sell it for them.

Social Value Creation; A Blank Canvas

The evolution of money

Money has evolved from coins to paper to electronic accounts. Now we see the emergence of mobile electronic accounts. Money may represent value but does it actually represent the value creation process? If not, then what does and which is more important?

PayPal wants to be like the electrical socket that all mobile payment innovations plug into.   In fact, they have a standing invitation for all technology partners in the mobile payment space to integrate with them. This is called an externalization strategy (much like Facebook, Twitter and Windows), where there are so many developers, users, and participants that NOT being on the platform becomes the competitive disadvantage.

The PayPal offer represents the separation of money from the value creation process.  This exposes a very interesting point to consider.

The Frictions of Monetization

The assumption is that PayPal et al will store and exchange dollars, and only dollars.  As such, they are contained within the financial system: credit score system, a person’s name, birth date, and the social security number as a personal identifier, the IRS reporting jurisdiction, and commercial code vetting mechanisms, etc.

Similarly, the drive to monetize in Social Media is pushing applications toward the same containment within the financial system.  Not surprisingly, the complaints of privacy and data security in Social Media stem precisely from association with credit scores, IRS, personal identifiers, Social Security Numbers, etc.  But “Big Social” presses on – they know not another way. Ironically, this is precisely the battleground; the source of all intermediary tactical and social friction that hinders monetization in the first place.  It has little to do with the creation of value – only containment of value.  To win is to lose.

A Better Proxy for Value

The reality of governance dictates that all business ventures begin and end in a standard currency of commerce such as the dollar.  However, there are NO restrictions on which currency must be traded in between to “create value”.   Nor is there any schedule that determines when a venture must begin, end, or be liquidated to dollars.

While The Social Value Game may start and end with dollars, the value creation process is carried out in a social currency using a “Social Credit Score”, an anonymous “Unique Identifier”, and a collection of “Social Vetting Institutions” independent of government or corporate jurisdiction.  The Value Game is a frictionless, tax-free and self-regulating environment without the guy wires of the financial industry.  The game simply leverages existing value socially to make new social value.

Social Value Specifications

The Social Value Creation Process is a blank canvas and we are writing the specifications today.  If a social currency becomes a better proxy for productivity – it may also become a stand-alone currency fully capable of capitalization and securitization. Theoretically, a social currency may never need to be converted to financial currency any more than a dollar ever needs to be convertible to silver or gold – it simply becomes another ledger entry on an accounting balance sheet.

Is Money Irrelevant?

The value creation process is the hard part.  Transformation of Social Currency into Financial Currency will become easy – anyone can do it.  In other words, if PayPal becomes irrelevant, the money evolution chain will be broken and money will become obsolete.  The market is wide open for a money competitor who can simply transcribe a social currency transaction into a ledger entry for financial currency. It’s a lot easier and closer to reality than many people think.

Social Currency and Anonymity

The subject of privacy and anonymity are again rising up with the latest move by Facebook to integrate updates across the Internet onto the Facebook platform.

Conspiracy theories about Facebook and the CIA continue to flourish.  Meanwhile, the marketing and advertising industry seems poised to reboot their dwindling influence under a new cloak and dagger of social media data hustling and predictive demographics rather than playing by new rules of engagement.

Money is one thing and value is another.

I am astonished that people willingly and freely give up huge volumes of information about themselves when they really don’t have to.  In earlier times, marketers and advertisers would pay a great deal of money for far less information that people give them for free.  People do not understand the value that is stored between their ears or how easy it would be to set up an alternate economy that trades in social currencies.

If advertisers can pay someone to cold call me, to graph my data across the web, or sneak around my social networks, then they can certainly pay me to answer the phone.

The Ingenesist Project specifies an Innovation Economy built on the platform of social media.  While that thesis is extensive, let me summarize that the primordial soup of the Innovation Economy is called the Knowledge Asset Inventory.

Anonymous assets

One essential element of the new economic paradigm is the ability to combine knowledge assets so that innovation becomes predictable and therefore capitalized. However, a side effect is that such code makes the individual containers anonymous.  Marketers will have to pay you to find you.  here is why:

Now think about it this way – if you remove 20-dollar bill from your wallet to buy a Latte, you do not know (nor do you care) whether the last transaction performed by that 20-dollar bill was a donation to a charitable cause or a drug deal.  The dollar bill is anonymous – but you, as an asset, are not.

Social Currency is a Social Imperative

Dollar denominated money is a system to control social currency at a leverage factor of 1000:1.  Take away the dollar currency, and the leverage disappears.  Add a social currency and the national debt disappears.

Almost as a bonus, it is an absolute impossibility for marketers and advertisers to store and exchange value denominated in a social currency without extraordinary changes to the way they engage their clients….like, uhm, …don’t waste our time.

If we are smart, we can shut down the privacy issue in a hurry – anonymity of knowledge assets is the key.

Social Isolation Funnel

You don’t stand a chance.

Social Influence Marketing (SIM) is becoming more sophisticated at finding you in your social space than you are in avoiding Social Influence Marketing (Advertising).   A new set of theories and systems have been deployed on how to engage you in conversation, grab your response data, funnel you into the pitch, induce credit card labor, and draw out your social broadcast.  Guess what, your social media sites are helping them….

Flirting with the enemy

The greatest problem that social media created for advertisers was to disperse the crowd from the once treasured “captive audience” of the radio/TV days to millions of individual affinity outlets.  Blasting the message home is no longer a function of Ad spend.    However, marketers are smart and social media sites are corporations too – now these forces are converging with unimaginable voracity.

They have you figured out.

In a quest for monetization, popular sites now provide “data services” to the brands. Such data empowers, once again, the advertiser over the viewer.  Why not provide “data service” to the users about what the brands pay for and what information they are mining about users?  If Brands are not comfortable with disclosing such information – should we be comfortable about teaching our “human nature” to them?

As social sites increasingly develop stickiness applications to retain the audience, new innovations are directed to that old business TV/Radio model rather than reinforcing the reason why social media emerged in the first place.    At some point, it becomes the best interest of the social site to meet the Wall Street expectation of “tangible output” over the user expectation of increased productivity. In other words, keep people glued to the LCD and don’t empower them to enter their communities to innovate social change.

Once users lose the ability to reject a brand message, we’re all right back where we started from.

People need to meet each other in real life to do real things. The best way to retain the original power of social media is to disperse once again.  Micro-social networks reflecting communities of interest need to form in proximity to each member.  Each community of interest must combine with other highly local social networks to share ideas, create local innovation, and enforce social priorities.

Hide your data in your own data:

Each time a different affinity group meets with another affinity group, the demographic data changes – it becomes renewed, refreshed and remains in the possession of the community.  This is where the value is, people can own it of they knew it’s theirs – and Brands can access far more value by supporting communities rather than by isolating communities.

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