05 May 2009

Software Engineers were on the Right Track

 It is often sad when software engineers are shown to be correct. One of my first posts was on monetizing social search

This innovative use of social networking could have a short-term payoff. It turns out to be one of the few successes to date in making money from social networking When I ran a straw poll on making money from social networking with some software engineers, wannabe entrepeneurs and friends, they all came up with essentially the same idea: Mining the users' personal details and finding some way to make them pay to keep this information confidential

My panel of experts shared the cynicism of the sysadmins who say
NEVER anthropomorphize lusers.

Intellius 's recent acquisition of Spock appears to have proven my panel of experts were on the right path.

Michael Arrington warned last week
But one company may have bitten and are close to buying the company. Sources are saying that the infamous Intelius (founded by the equally infamous Naveen Jain ), a people search engine that charges users to access data, may be buying Spock soon. If these rumors are accurate, God help Spock. Not only is Intelius embroiled in all kinds of legal and ethical disputes, but they also have a shaky history when it comes to acquisitions.
Then Ajit Jaokar summed up
So, let me see if I get this right
a) Spock trawls the web looking for our data
b) It creates a profile about us in their site without approval
c) It encourages us to enrich that information
d) It charges us to access our own information
e) And ultimately .. it sells that same information to a background check company ..
For instance, my 'harnessed' profile (i.e. I did not create it) says .. Ajit Jaokar is an Indian-born British author and Web 2.0 specialist. He is the founder and CEO of the publishing company Futuretext. He is also the... and the rest you have to pay for :) (Don't bother .. that information is freely available on my blog .. and lots more .. so you can hopefully make your own judgements about me .. )
Can I delete my own information in Spock?.. Now it gets MUCH more interesting .. Spock says on deletion of information ..
If you'd like to remove yourself from Spock, please read the following information and click the link below.

Before requesting removal, please make sure the original source of the information Spock found for you has been removed or made private (MySpace, blog, Friendster, etc). This will prevent you from being re-indexed on the site. Please note that you can only request removal for your Spock search result.

When filling out your information please make sure to include your name, e-mail, a link to your Spock Search Result (i.e. http://www.spock.com/Tiger-Woods), and the reason why you'd like to be removed. The Spock Support Team will review your claim and get back to you within 24-48 hours.

So, I have to ensure that the Original sources of information that they got the profiles from should also be made private(i.e. my blog, my facebook profile etc etc) ..(else they will 'harness' me again!)

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