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Monday, September 8, 2014

What are you worth?

I’m not asking you to give me a number. I’m not interested in your salary, assets, or holdings. I’m asking you what you feel your life is worth. Your unique identity, actions, and relationships. Let me save you some time and provide my answer to this question:
You’re priceless. 

No amount of money can be correlated to the value you bring your family and friends. The insights that you gain from living your life, making mistakes, loving other people, and thinking for yourself – these experiences brought together form the picture of who you are. They provide the meat and marrow of your existence, whoever you are, wherever you live.

Your Digital Worth
Today, the Internet Economy as its evolved over the past decade is insistent on attributing a monetary amount to your life. Questions like, ‘what’s the value of a Facebook like?’ or “how much is your personal data worth?” are set within this existing market paradigm that was not created to benefit an individual. The questions are asked within the context of how the market works today, whichis designed to track, analyze, and predict your actions to increase purchase. That’s it. There’s no marketing funnel that ends with consumer happiness for the sake of it. “Consumers,” by definition, are only happy, based on what they’ve bought.

This doesn’t make this practice evil, mind you. We all have to buy stuff. But the industry, driven ever more increasingly by machine learning algorithms, is based on two simple ideas:
  • It behooves any advertising driven organization to know more about a user than the user knows about herself.
  • This market paradigm works best when users don’t understand the full value of their personal data or digital identity.
It doesn’t make a difference if your personal data is worth ten dollars a month or a fistful of Costco coupons. As long as you continue to assume selling your data isn’t worth the effort, this current advertising model will thrive.

The Message in The Model – You’re Nothing But an Experiment
Organizations built on a digital advertising revenue model don’t care if you like them or not. They don’t care if you leave their services in a huff, or tweet your ire. Facebook and any other digital organization will continue to experiment on you like a Rhesus monkey and not give a tinker’s cuss what you think. Why?

Because you don’t care enough about your personal data to recognize it for the asset that it is.
If you did, you wouldn’t consider it a fair trade to swap your digital identity in exchange for a free service. Or you might not appreciate your data being sold to brokers who put your life for sale on lists with titles like, “Young Females With Bad Credit” or “People Taking Alzheimer’s Medications.”
Besides, if you did start selling your personal data, you might actually begin to realize how much it’s worth.

Stop thinking about the transactional value of your personal data and realize your digital identity should belong to you. The aggregated insights of your life shouldn’t be tossed, willy-nilly, into the Internet ether like banner ads hoping for a click. All the fractals of your digital wanderings, all the observations of your life, are generated because you walk this planet and make a unique contribution to the world.

So I’ll ask you again – what are you worth? What are the insights about your digital life worth?
They’re priceless. 

So stop giving them away. Disrupt the current and broken model of Internet advertising, spur innovation, and claim the assets you generate via your data before you lose the rights to do so.

Sell Your Data to Learn How Valuable You Are
Datacoup, the “World’s First Personal Data Marketplace.” They help people sell their personal data. Their focus and their vision, is not about the transactional aspect of people’s data. It’s about teaching people to “unlock the value of their data” and claim their digital worth.

Today, September 4, 2014, a person’s data may only be worth eight or ten dollars a month. But by selling it, or not selling it and just learning its market value, we can disrupt a broken Internet Economy that tracks, analyzes, and sells people’s data without their direct involvement.
They’re not opaquely tracking people’s data to sell to the highest bidder. They’ve created the technology infrastructure to let people offer their own data to track and sell as they see fit. Users are not whoring their data, or selling their privacy:
  • They are taking control of a central asset of their lives and disrupting the status .
  • They are investing their time and data to create a unique digital portfolio of their lives they control.
  • They are taking action regarding their data, recognizing their digital and personal worth.

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