Monday, March 22, 2010

The Price of Location-Based Social Networking

Location-based technology is a new trend in social networking, where you not only know what your friends are thinking but also where they are. Call me old fashion, but isn’t this too much information. Why would I want to know the exact location of my friends, and why would I want to share my location with them. What if I decided to play hooky and call in sick to work, why on earth would I want my coworkers to know that I’m at the mall shopping or at the beach sun bathing. What if a group of friends go out together, while specifically excluding someone from the group? What if I am on a date and I don’t want my boyfriend to know!

Personally I don’t see the benefit of this feature, at least from a consumer’s point of view. However from an advertisers’ point of view, this feature makes much more sense. Companies can tailor their advertising and narrow their target audience more based on customer location. For example, if you are currently at City Stars, companies can send you promotions for specific shops located in the mall, viewing schedules regarding the movies being features, and event announcements. Add on that other filtering criteria such as age and gender; companies will have a winning combination to ensure a maximum hit rate for their mobile advertising. No wonder organizations such as Google are interested in this technology, with the bulk of their revenue coming from web-based marketing.

The question remains, “Will users of social networks embrace this trend?” Do we need to have our privacy violated even further? I would say “NO!” and a thousand times No!!! Then again who am I to judge what social networkers want. I have just started using Facebook only two years ago. I’m not really into Tweeter or MySpace, and I don’t have an obsessive compulsion to randomly snap pictures of myself and post them on the internet. The bottom line is I am not the target audience that Google is hoping to attract with this feature. I am too old to qualify. So, I will have to accept whatever decree is passed by the masses and live with it. However I can’t help but think that some benefit can come from this technology. If Google and others are able to augment their advertising revenue, then they can spend more on research and development projects and gives us amazing free services similar to Google Maps and Chrome. If receiving ads that actually interest me is the price I have to pay for other free perks, then so be it. A little inconvenience is a small price to pay. If I am not happy with the feature, I can always turn it off.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blog Virgin

I am a single 34 year old living in Cairo. You can think of me as the female version of Steve Carrell's character in "The 40 year old virgin", with the exception that I am happy with with my Career so far.
One might ask why I would start a blog. To be honest I've asked myself the same question, "Why am I starting this blog?" A couple of years ago I felt like my life was in a rut, so I decided to take some time off from work and focus on other things in life. Truth be told I was happy. I was able to read books, spend more time with my nephew, organize my closet, cook healthy food, exercise and do things I couldn't do while I was working a full time job because I was either too tired or stressed for time. But nothing lasts forever, after 18 months of bliss I had to go back to working full time. I have been back for 22 months now. I am okay with going back to work, lets face it I have to if I am going to support myself, buy an apartment, and save for my retirement, yet I still feel that something is missing. I have gone back to eating junk food and not exercising at all. I try to read as much as I can. I only get to see my nephew(s) and niece once a week. But again I am okay with it all - these are small sacrifices one has to make in life. Maybe I have started this blog to give me a sense of purpose, to have a forum where I can say what I want, when I want. Maybe I am hoping that this blog will help me find the little something I am missing in my life. I don't know.
Now the hard thing is to decide on what I will write about. Choosing a topic is not hard, for I am very opinionated and out spoken. The difficult thing would be to narrow it done a few selected disciplines. So, I have decided not to choose, I will just write about whatever I feel like writing. I will write about my quest to fitness and a healthy life. My failed endeavors to find romance. The challenges I face at work. Whatever comes to mind , will go into the blog. I promise I will try not to get bumped up when I have no followers, because I am blogging for me. It'll be great if someone else happens to like what I ranting about - but if not then that's okay, for I will live to blog another day !