More on Not Being the Customer

I wrote a while ago about not using services with no business model, but I’m even more wary of sites and services where I am not the customer. That’s any ad based site like say, Facebook.

Yes I am a begrudging user of Facebook, but I’m not their customer. I give them no money to use the service. The people that give them money are those that place ads in the sides of the site, they are the customers. Especially with Facebook this is worrisome since they have a bunch of data on me and they need to find a way to break out of display ads.

What might Facebook’s big idea look like? Well, it does have all this data. The company knows so much about so many people that its executives are sure that the knowledge must have value (see “You Are the Ad,” by Robert D. Hof, May/June 2011).

So this company that has a bunch of data about how I interact with people is out there and I’m not their customer, that should not make you happy.

I suppose that Google fits the same hold, but for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on it just doesn’t bother me. While I do think that Google has strayed from it’s don’t be evil mission, I think that Facebook never had that as a mission. They’re starting way further away from any place that puts me first.