Why Not Sell Your Own Information?

by Dan Robles on 03/31/2011

At the end of the day it’s all about information and who controls it.

If Google is trying to organize the world’s information, then Facebook, by all accounts, is trying to control it.  This article introduces the idea that people can sell their own information to vendors.  This has huge implications for Facebook, Google, and the 400 Billion Dollar Yearly Advertising spend.

Fly Untied

At Social Flights, the traveler will be able to sell their information directly to the vendor of relevant and meaningful ground support products and services.  Vendors will be able to find the best customers without banner ads, billboards, or spam.   The Social Flights traveler will be able to choose which vendors they want to see ads from.  The Social Flights traveler will be empowered to specify exactly what information they want to share with a vendor and the terms of use for that information.

The Value Game promises to be hugely disruptive

The Value Game allows people share the outbound and return trip of a jet flying between two locations.  In other words, if the plane has 8 seats, then 16 people will organize themselves in a social network to fill those two flights.  When people get good at this, the probability of filling both trips will increase and the cost of private jet travel will decrease substantially.

Travel Tribes and Travel Traders

The only reason why you can’t sell your own information is that it is not individually valuable until combined with everyone else’s information.  In the process of organizing, the community of 16 people will have assembled between their selves a very useful packet of data that represents the intended expenditure of thousands of additional dollars.  When everyone in a community organizes their social transactions, combined, they will have a larger and more integrated economic impact.

Likewise, a product is only as valuable as the other products around it.  As such, vendor communities can join Social Flights to organize and cooperate at both the origin and destination for the liquidation of inventory such as ski tickets, hotel rooms, entertainment, tours, rental cars, etc.  Vendors will issue a “discount coupon” whose value is dependent on the value of the information the travelers display.

If a vendor usually spends 20% of their revenue on advertising, then travelers should be able to earn a 20% commission for selling products to each other.

Ok, so if people are sharing information with each other in order to get from point A to point B, that’s called fair trade.  When communities travel with each other and continue to share social data, that’s called shared value. As the frequency of their interaction increases, so does the value.  So, why does Facebook need to know about any of this?

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