Data has become a very powerful factor in the online environment, as Jason Van Dyk (2010) discusses.
“Since many Web 2.0 services thrive on the participation between users, data storage services become more valuable. Consumers depend on these sites for a safe, fun and interactive environment to connect with other people and information. If the Web 2.0 site fails to provide this service, then the demand will reduce. It is becoming more apparent nowadays that the data found on a site is just as important as the actual software. Google has recently shown this to be the case with their investment to DigitalGlobes imagery and geodata. As technology progresses, we demand more than what the Intel Inside chip has to offer. People now have an interactive environment, where communication is fast, simple and reliable.”
If you look at everyday applications alone, users rely heavily on tools like Facebook for communication, Google Maps for direction and maybe even Twitter for up-to-date news. It all really goes round in a huge circle, as these tools would nowhere be as much of a success if it wasn’t for people submitting and allowing access to their data.
Realistically, to be able to use anything online these days -to its maximum potential- you are required to sign up and give away your details. Although some sites are pretty simple and only require an email address and name, this still contributes to data being collected.
A personal example I can share is the growth of eBay – the online auction website. I have watched eBay develop over the years and although their current upgrade is a fantastic tool, you can definitely see the change and improvement that data has contributed.
A new feature that I found interesting on eBay was the ‘WISH LIST’. The eBay wish list is similar to normal online shop wish lists as it allows users to select items they want (but can’t yet buy) and add to the list…pretty much like bookmarking products. With this list, they can then send/share it with someone, making gift buying clear and simple!
eBay is definitely a much wider community – with users from all over the world. Really goes to show how much data can improve business growth.
Van Dyk, Jason. Data is the Next Intel Inside. http://www.jason-v.com/2010/03/14/data-is-the-next-intel-inside/.