Workin’ in the data mine, goin’ down down down

This isn’t another Balloon Boy post but it starts somewhat adjacent to it, so stay with me here. In her post the other day, It Doesn’t Concern You, A. talked about feeling “pressured” to have an opinion and/or be invested in hyped-up stories “that have nothing to do with anything.”

But increasingly I feel pressure by the media-sociological machine to
have a personal opinion about other people’s lives and that gets on my
damn nerves. It’s all news of the weird now, all little personal
outrages, all the time, and none of it matters to anyone.

She was looking at this in the context of laziness and stupidity in the media, and while I don’t disagree with her on that, I tend to focus on a different part of the elephant than she does. As I, and others, noted in the comments on that post, advertising and marketing and their attendant industries drive the media machine, not customer opinions, needs, or wants. Like heretic said, “They sell eyeballs to advertisers.” And sure, the assumption is that the shinier the inanity du jour, the more eyeballs they’ll sell, but it’s more than that even. Our opinions, good, bad, or indifferent, our traffic patterns, our consumption of media old and new, are increasingly just so many data points in a huge dynamic, mine-able aggregate.

Today, pretty much as I write this, at theWeb 2.0 Summit, Microsoft will announce two separate data-mining deals, with Facebook and Twitter. Data minutia from tweets and status updates will update the new Bing search engine service. In real time. Think about that for a minute.

The pair represents the hugest trove of real-time and content-sharing information, generated from their massive data streams.

The deals with Microsoft will probably include a payment of several
million dollars to both Facebook and Twitter, along with various
revenue-sharing proposals that would give them a piece of the
advertising revenue made from search results.

Doing these kinds of data deals with big search players does make a
lot of sense, since it would be hard for both companies to turbocharge
their own search engines without running into the big cash-laden guns
at both Google and Microsoft, which recently launched the Bing search
service.

Check back atthis Web 2.0 link later to hear what Qi Lu, head of Microsoft’s Online Services division, says about the data-mining acquisition.

UPDATED:Google just announced its own data dealwith Twitter, which certainly validates Twitter’s insistence that their Microsoft deal would be non-exclusive. Next?


5 thoughts on “Workin’ in the data mine, goin’ down down down

  1. dan mcenroe says:

    The most irritating thing about data mining (besides the whole right-to-privacy thing) is knowing that people are trading data about me for profit and I don’t get a cut.
    Alas. I guess that’s why Facebook and Twitter are free.

  2. Adrastos says:

    Whoops, about to slip down…

  3. MapleStreet says:

    It was inevitable that these gigantic piles of information would be subjected to data mining.
    OTOH – if you take a pile of garbage, make it a bigger pile of garbage, it is still a pile of garbage. I mean Sarah Palin posts on Twitter. So how far would you believe the results of any data mining here.
    Which of course, beyond the need to have an opinon of everything, is the news medias insistance on the “man on the street” interviews or the unverifiable poll – these tell us what to think even though they are usually totally bogus.

  4. donna says:

    That’s why my dog is on Facebook, and not me. ;^)

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