From Viral Marketing To STD’s

Ok, let’s line up the evidence:

  • I walk into a Starbucks and the song playing in the shop is instantly availabe on my iPhone or iPod Touch. Starbucks is now in my pants phone.
  • Google is watching over my shoulder as I search and as I read my email. Weird, creepy “Mid-Life Crisis?” ads are known to show up alongside emails.
  • I’m on Facebook. I’m not really active. I have an account but I rarely log on. Yet, I’m getting poked, probed, super-poked, jabbed, tazered via email and through other means. Every time I log on, I’m asked to answer a series of questions triggered by someone’s “friend request” (what a weird transaction) that I hardly know.

And now, Facebook has decided that the line between advertising and talking (and poking and probing) has blurred. I am not just the consumer anymore. Glassy-eyed staring into my new 50″ LCD TV. I am the carrier. I am the means by which the marketing message travels.

And it’s not just a message anymore. It’s an action. It’s a new verb – like Super-poking. Except now the actions are products…or our “friends” are products…or something. I’m not really sure. It’s all really, really creepy.

My biggest fear is the lack of notice. Just give me notice of what I’m in for. It’s a crime to knowingly carry a sexually transmitted disease and have unprotected sex with someone without their knowledge. Unless you look really closely, it’s really hard to tell that Google is tracking your search patterns.

Sit me down and give me options and explain the implications of what I do. Then let me decide. Today, we’re just strolling into bed, not aware of the consequences. We’ve submitted ourselves.

Nick Carr summed it up nicely: “Infect me. I’m yours.”

6 Comments From Viral Marketing To STD’s

  1. Rich Ziade

    Felix – good point. Thing is I’m not really speaking for myself. I suppose I’m guilty of being a tad paternalistic here. You can probably make a strong argument that “the market & social dynamics will sort themselves out.”
    I don’t know. It still feels slimey. Heh.

    Reply
  2. Clement

    You know, it’s weird because I feel kinda like the same about facebook. Today, I think, it’s ranked n°7 in Alexa’s top 10 most visited websites. But I don’t like it. Today, it’s so easy to find stuff about you on the net, especially through social networks like facebook. All of my friends have an account and are urging me to be more active, but I don’t like it anyway.
    It seems that you’re not a too big fan of facebook’s either…

    Reply

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