During our discussion yesterday, when Megan said that she thinks we won’t have USB ports in 5 years . . . I had a bit of a panic attack. I told the people in my group about it, so we could have a little laugh and to show how my life experiences have made it more difficult for me to fit into the ischool community, and how I often feel like an “other” when it comes to talk of technology. My immediate thought was . . . . where will I put all of my photos? My downloaded financial papers? I’m 3/4 of the way to being an “old” myself, so the thought of my financial information aggregated out on a service like dropbox and on someone else’s server freaked me out. After a moment I calmed down, sure that there will be other options that I will be comfortable with.
Funny thing is . . . I had another panic moment this morning when I was listening to the news . I happened to hear the end of a segment about American Express’ new purchasing with #hashtags program. I only heard part of the commercial. Amex Sync On Twitter – American Express – YouTube I had heard about the Amex Synch program before, but the ability to make purchases on Twitter was news to me. The panic stemmed from thoughts about how this can possibly be safe. I was thinking . . . haven’t they seen the Farmer’s Insurance commercial where J.K. Simmons has all those dogs hanging off of him and he says that it is dangerous to leave boxes on your curb for trash pickup because it tells the thieves what you have that they can steal? Farmers Insurance “Dog Bites” | Great-Ads. Doesn’t publicly tweeting your purchases say: I’m a techy . . . I buy lots of gadgets . . . come break into my home?
I still haven’t gotten past the danger of letting everyone on twitter know when you buy things (the purchase tweets are public), but after looking into it some more I do feel a little better. Twitter and Amex to let you pay with a hashtag – CNN.com They don’t release any of your private/card information (which seems as safe as any other online purchase) and they require a confirmation tweet within 15 minutes of their reply to ensure that it wasn’t an accidental tweet. Benefits include free 2 day shipping and supposedly the offers will all be great “deals”.
So this brings me to the conversation we had yesterday about the Library of Congress Twitter collection and how it should be curated and made accessible. A program like this can turn a seemingly unimportant twitter feed like mine into an important marketing tool. My purchasing habits on twitter can suddenly make every other tweet I’ve made (and anything those tweets might say about me) important to that corporation who wants to market their product to people in my precise demographic. Just yesterday we said that we cannot tell today what private information on twitter might be important tomorrow . . . and this is a perfect example.
How will these companies possibly aggregate and analyze all of the information that they would get from the oodles tweets of people who will probably use this service? I have no idea . . . but I guarantee you that there are companies out there right now who are talking about solutions to that problem. If activity like this occurs more and more on Twitter (which I think is inevitable given that previously Twitter’s only means of income has been advertisements) I think we can expect to see large companies attempting to make deals with the Library of Congress, to get useful access to their twitter collection.