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Online Commodities

Online Commodities

What is valuable online and how are they measured?

The internet has its own unique culture. This is now influencing real-life cultures, creating a greater divide in what is online and what is not in terms of values, purchasing habits, and costs.

There are four main things to pay for on the internet that are important:

1. Attention

What’s the attention economy?

The marketplace for attention of an individual’s mind or eyes. Term coined by Nobel Laureate Herbert A. Simon.

What do I pay for?

Two things: eyes and mind.

Eyes: Impressions. Harder to track/easier to pay for. Think more traditional advertising.

Mind: Participation in purchase or social action (following, commenting, purchasing, etc.)

Why is this new?

1) Attention is digital. The digital habitat provides more points of choice through the introduction of surfing, changing, and skipping. In the past, people were limited to listening to only one station or watching only one billboard on their way to work. However, with digital attention, there are more opportunities to catch someone surfing, changing, and skipping.

2) It’s trackable. Ads are baked into how most commonly used social medias make their money:

  • What we watch/how long we look at it
  • The keywords we click on
  • The products we search for
  • Who we are talking to

3) Automatic segmentation. Tracking is so easy making it easy to figure out what their current user base looks for and where companies should target. Helping them figure out, automatically:

  • What kinds of content to make
  • How long they should be/what kind
  • Where they should be placed
  • How they’re doing

How do I get it?

Earned — Virility & Reputation

Paid — Paid ads, PR

Who’s doing this well?

Facebook (everyone knows and hates them)

Google (android in a year)

Apple (cookie tracking)

Conferences/music festivals

SF tech weeks

Rolling loud

Physical ads

Radio stations

2. Data

What kind of data?

Let’s just talk about buying consumer data.

What do I pay for?

You’re either paying for raw information (for targeted ads) or paying for general insights.

How do I buy it?

From at least my understanding, there are three days to obtain data:

  1. Data Brokers
  2. Market Industry Research Reports
    1. These are opt-in research reports
  3. Direct consumer-opt in Data Companies
    1. Like Pogo
  4. You can also just host your own surveys.

How is this different from attention?

Attention a commodity focused on one party to multiple.

Data is a commodity focused on an individual to a private group.

Who is doing this well?

Data opt-in companies.

Social Networks.

Schools and Universities

3. People

What kind of people?

Professional talent and individuals specifically sourced for insight, specifically.

How does this differ from attention?

It’s the ability to have individuals with specialized abilities OR attention becoming affiliated with you and your company.

The mobilization of a group.

How are people navigating this?

Referral and reference-oriented companies. Job boards based on talent, rather than job.

“Access to talent” from fellowships like Thiel, Interact, and Contrary.

Does this catch tailwinds of any trends that’s different than before?

Shockingly, the #1 job amongst new-age consumers is as a corporate recruiter. Actually, 3/5 of young people’s favorite jobs are all people facing. Not technical.

Popular content = visibility to broad spectrum of individuals.
Talent coordination = access to a difficult few.

4. Trust

How do you gain online trust?

Earned media. Crisis management. Societal accountability through provided product/service.

Why do people care?

85% of consumers expect for brands to solve societal issues. 69% want companies to be dependable.

64% of buyers put their trust in companies to be a reliable source of information.

Is this new?

No. People: Yellowpages Businesses: BBB

Can you track it?

I’m still looking into this. Best thing I can find is the Edelman Trust Barometer

Difference between testing trust vs. people?

Testing people: With a person, there is a set criteria to which they will trust, that can be rules, morals, whatever they have to be important.

Testing trust: Fuck up. See if you have the space to keep going. It’s the consequence of mobilizing people. Dependency and relief after taking action.