How much is your click stream worth?

“Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party.” Jimmy Buffett

Search

by John Battelle takes a critical look at the evolution of the search. This insiders guide to the ubiquitous Google begs users to examine the motives for Google’s insidious growth.

The Search by John Battelle

The Search reads like a textbook for a Computer Engineering ethics course. That aside, it is possible to examine a chapter at a time without relaying too heavily on dictionary.com. Perhaps the most important revelation can be summed up in two words; click stream. From a marketing standpoint your click stream is priceless. The sooner businesses can develop a way to collect, maintain and apply data from all of your queries the more cost effective and direct marketing will become. In other words your searches a.k.a. click stream create your personal online identity.

Someone is following your every move and that someone is Google. So what’s the big deal? Google has successfully defended their data from all but the Patriot Act. They even prevented the US government from obtaining click stream data which would have been used to identify criminals other that terrorists. In a way you can feel safe. You click stream is in the Google vault. Do you know who guards the vault? Do you have any idea how powerful an entity can become with this kind of leverage? The Search does not point fingers. Battelle raises consciousness regarding internet ethics, information monopolies and corporate trust issues. Can you trust big business? Can Google prove to be more ethical than other big businesses? We all love to search. We all love the instant gratification we get from seeking the oracle’s wisdom. Can this love affair continue? I would like to think so but remember, big brother is watching.

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