The Grey Blog


Verbs Not Nouns And Social Networks
June 12, 2008, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Serious

At the risk of this blog turning into a monthly quotes page, this is good from Eric Schmidt:

People feel ok with ads about what you are doing but not about who you are.

Not sure if those are his exact words (they’re from CNET) but I like the economy. I don’t think it was specifically with reference to social networks, but it sums up the privacy problems with their advertising models pretty nicely.

It reminds me of the design mantra to think in terms of verbs, not nouns – in this case how we use social networks rather than what we reveal about ourselves. I’m sure they’re on it, but perhaps the answer for social networks’ advertising models is to make them more about the verb stage – building profiles, sending messages, making plans… socialising. The noun stuff – demographic data from profiles – might help sell the advertising but it doesn’t seem to be the answer.

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