Misuse of Our Social Assets

by Jay Deragon on 11/02/2010

Not many people think about their social profiles as assets. Yet social network operators understand very well that every persons profile is in fact an asset they leverage for economic gains.

In an earlier article titled: Security: The Weakest Human Link” we highlighted how Facebook, Google, Apple and others leverage the human networks interactions (assets) and third party developers (assets) to create and sell the related data to eager marketers.

This is the data game afforded by the introduction of social technology that engages the human network.  Facebook and others know that data represents significant economic value and when the human network volunteers their data that represents a “free supply” of valuable assets that can be used and sold to a world of suppliers wanting to reach the human network to sell them something, anything and everything.

The Game Will Change

Revolutions are started when more and more people find out that institutions are misleading people and using their own assets against them. The world of all things social represents others leveraging assets of the human network for institutional economic gains.  This game is as old as the history of humans gathered together to leverage each others assets for collective gains then the industrial era arose and organizations began learning how to leverage human assets for organizational gains.

The same game is played by government institutions and politicians representing those institutions. Leveraging the human network to create political power used against the human network.  George Washington said “If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

It is much to be feared, as you observe, that the better kind of people being disgusted with the circumstances will have their minds prepared for any revolution whatever.

A Social Revolution?

As more and more people realize that their own social activity is being used for profit by others and without our consent we are likely to see a social revolution arise. This revolution will not be fought with guns and armor rather with collective voices which represent “we the people” as opposed to the institutions of profit.

A revolution (“a turnaround”) is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. The term revolution refers to:

  1. Complete change from one constitution to another
  2. Modification of an existing constitution.

The constitution of the human network is a set of human principles that we the people have made and agreed upon for collective value and rights. The human networks constitution enumerates and limits the powers and functions of the marketplace. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the human network has for rights and privileges. The rights of the  human network  refers specifically to a constitution defining the fundamental political principles, and establishing the structure, procedures, powers and duties, of those who use the human network for profiteering from the assets of the network without consent.

By limiting the institutions own reach, the human network constitution guarantee certain rights to the people.  When those rights, spoken and unspoken, are violated and the masses become aware of the consequences of the violation then you have the beginning of a revolution.

Revolutions vary widely in terms of methods, duration, and motivating ideology. The results include major changes in culture, economy, and socio-political institutions.  The social revolution is already rising with momentum.  The more profiteering of our social assets are used for others gain and not ours the more we the people will join forces and ignite the entire human network into a revolution against use of our assets without consent.

For further reading on this subject I’d highly recommend  Doc Searls article : Data Bubble II which starts out “In The Data Bubble, I told readers to mark the day: 31 July 2010. That’s when The Wall Street Journal published The Web’s Gold Mine: Your Secrets, subtitled A Journal investigation finds that one of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet is the business of spying on consumers. First in a series. That same series is now nine stories long, not counting the introduction and a long list of related pieces. Here’s the current list:”

  1. The Web’s Gold Mine: What They Know About You
  2. Microsoft Quashed Bid to Boost Web Privacy
  3. On the Web’s Cutting Edge: Anonymity in Name Only
  4. Stalking by Cell Phone
  5. Google Agonizes Over Privacy
  6. Kids Face Intensive Tracking on Web
  7. ‘Scrapers’ Dig Deep for Data on the Web
  8. Facebook in Privacy Breach
  9. A Web Pioneer Profiles Users By Name

{ 1 comment }

alex johnson November 3, 2010 at 4:16 am

Great post. Social media is still very new and I agree it will change a lot in the next few years. I think it will be some time before we really start to make the most of social media and understand its full power.

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