This Week in Consumer Web– We Like to Share (Wikileaks) but Hate to Share (FTC)

Consumers are now wondering what we want: a "wide open" internet playground or walls for protection? We cannot demand clarity and openness but then bark at the responsibilities behind it. Maybe the root of being a consumer is the American ideal of consumption without consequences.

There has not been a more ironic consumer web week in a while.

Consumers, now wondering which is it they want: a “wide open” internet playground or walls for protection? Tracking works both ways, we cannot demand clarity and openness to all secure documents and diplomatic secrets but then feel invaded when our clicks and shopping preferences are tracked.

Come on consumers, what’s going on here?!

This week we are going to look at all the ironic ways as consumers we expect the most.

WE LOVE TO SHARE…and other fascinations with the internet

  • While not wanting the FTC to track users insights, people had no problem responding to the FTC via Twitter which is public and trackable.
  • Wikileaks: The lastest 11/28 Cablegate leaks have many people demanding for more information and governments to reveal secrets regardless if national security is at stake.
  • Back in September, research indicated that consumers were more interested in goods they would receive for sharing information than the information itself. Cheap deal? Worth giving up info.

WE HATE TO SHARE…and other things we are scared of

  • Advertisers collecting user data and tracking online habits, even if they increase a user experience aka “Do Not Track”
  • Research earlier this year indicated that Consumer demand was not being met by social media
  • 80% of the most companies consumers hate the most actually facilitate sharing. AT&T, Comcast, Facebook, are all companies that help the world connect. Perhaps our hate of them stems from dependence.

Meanwhile companies are confused, trying to figure out how to offer the best deals and get something in return. If consumers get a ‘deal’ there also has to be a way that it makes sense for the business. Businesses need consumers and consumers need businesses. Now which is it, do we want to share our information or is it just that we want to hide in our homes doing whatever we want on the internet only to share information when its convenient or comes with a coupon? Is it the same as wanting top notch national security but then barking with airports become tighter with restrictions and searches. Or do we just want it all? Maybe in fact at the root of being a consumer is the American ideal of consumption without consequences.