I bring Google into this equation for two reasons. One, to cite a tangible example of how the market goes about defining propriety and property rights in the information age. Two, because I believe that Google, as a benefactor of these rights, will need to share with consumers more of its social map of user clickstreams, engagement metrics and their correlates if it is to maintain the public trust. Akin to a credit report, I think consumers have a right to this data.
Therefore, what I envision is a consumer-friendly dashboard and analytics application that allows me to visualize the bigger picture by seeing the same contextual relationships that Google sees. Think zeitgeist-type reports that provide answers to the Top 10 questions relevant to MY universe (e.g., who read, commented, shared, how many) packaged in such a way that I can ask what-if questions to my heart’s content. To me, the social map is all about enabling applications that allow consumers to take back control of their data, help them to connect the dots between their various interests, orchestrate their brand and systematically engage their audience. This is the promise of the information age.
Given that, if information is the electricity of this era and information ABOUT information is the richest energy source of all (just ask Google), then shouldn’t we have universal access to this type of data? Heck, if Google wants my heart and soul vis-à-vis their AppEngine initiative, they need to give me a unified way to call upon and interact with all of the global data functions that they have cataloged (web pages, blogs, images, news, video, email, maps, calendars, etc.).
Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft: Couldn’t you disrupt the disrupter by doing the same? Is there any reason that you wouldn’t — or shouldn’t?