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Data is Power?

March 17, 2011

It has long been known that knowledge is power and that the individual or company with the most knowledge on a particular aspect will generally be the most profitable. This knowledge is often gained from raw data that is obtained from a customers user base using old style techniques.

With the advance of Web 2.0, companies have developed methods for obtaining raw data from its user base by running server side applications that heavily rely on a database which can be used in conjunction with programs that allow them to run queries against raw data in the database, which is being generated by its user base. An example of this would be Google.

Every time you  search for something in Google, that search request is added to their database and can be later used to provide you with custom advertisements related to your search patterns.

When trying to increase my own page ranking within Google, I found that Google ranked user generated content higher than static manual data. I found this interesting, as Google was putting more faith in user generated content than static content which used to be seen as a more reliable source. Wikipedia also shares the same methodology as Google in trusting user generated content. The interesting concept with Wikipedia is that while most companies aim to capture data to improve its income, Wikipedia has taken the approach of opening itself up to the public and providing back to the community. On the other hand, web applications such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google provide their user base with the ability to communicate and collaborate with the community for free while collecting important data about the users and popular trends in order to create targeted ads.

Is data the next Intel inside? Whilst knowledge has always given power, the companies that correctly use collected user generated content will be a success.


From → Web 2.0

  1. Wonderful contribution, I seriously count on messages by you.

  2. empecee permalink

    Ben, I found this article to be concise and informative. I think you have sumarised data usage on the web reasonably well.

    However, there is something lacking from this article. I don’t believe it address the brief of the topic. Have a look at the Assignment Brief, we are suppose to talk about an application and assess it againt a web 2.0 pattern. I may be reading this wrong, however i’m not sure you are doing this.

    I hope my comments don’t offent. they are intended to help not hut.

  3. Outstanding material! I have been previously looking for something like this for a while now. Thank you!

  4. I guess the way how data is delivered is more important than data itself now. That’s the next “Intel Inside”, right? 🙂 Thanks for good article.

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