In Part 1 of this series, I covered some legal issues confronting the pay per click (PPC) search engine marketing. This installment looks at social media & personalization.
With the surge of social media & personalization how do we address issues surrounding a searcherâ€™s personal profile & their search data? Access to online profiles has allowed marketers to make assumptions about a userâ€™s preferences, allowing for predictive, highly targeted advertising. Growing popularity of social communities and bookmarking tools has raised questions about whatâ€™s ethical when it comes to using social media profiles to get the inside scoop on a userâ€™s online activity.
Letâ€™s take this a step further. I’m a firm believer that itâ€™s not always about the end result; the process and the tools used to get there are equally as important. I recently stumbled upon (no pun intended) an opportunity to “practice what I preach.”
So Iâ€™m trying out FriendFeed, a new tool (still in beta) that allows you to consolidate and track all of your online activity based on the services you use (ex: Facebook, del.icio.us, Flickr, YouTube, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.) with a single RSS feed. Hereâ€™s the kicker: as a member, you can subscribe to other memberâ€™s feeds and track their online activity. Think about this for a minute. All of your online activity is publicly tracked & available to any subscribing member. Friend or stalker?
On the one hand, it does allow for consolidation & efficiency. Be cautious though – nothing is left to hide. It all comes down to moral judgment or as we say in the advertising world â€“ “truth in advertising”. The more powerful the tools, the more effective they are at serving good or ill intentions.