Secondary Markets

Startup Takes Your Personal Data, Forces Brands To Compete To Sell You Stuff

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We know that Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and other services leverage our data to benefit from marketers and advertisers. But a new startup called OwnOut wants to help you get in on the action by leveraging your own data to pit brands against each other in a fight for your loyalty.

“We help brands steal customers,” OwnOut Founder Mike Grassotti said yesterday — nine times actually — at a presentation for ERA Demo Day.

It works like this: customers give over their email account so OwnOut can go in and examine their purchasing habits. If that seems scary, consider: you’ve likely already given that data away to other online services — OwnOut just wants you to benefit directly. Read More

Self-Mastery

iBreakfast Teaches You How To Be: ‘Master of Your Domain’

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Judging by the name of an upcoming panel on ICANN’s new ruling, the organizers must be the only New Yorkers to have missed the seminal Seinfeld episode featuring what is, arguably, the most famous contest ever televised.  Either that or the “iBreakfast” its hosting  on August 3rd called “Master of Your Domain?” is much more about abstaining from self-pleasure than its description implies. Read More

Anti-Social Networking

Anger Mounts As Google+ Plays Favorites With Brands

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Unless you count the bacteria parties during the Cambrian Explosion, Google+ is the fastest growing social network in history, hitting 18 million users in just its first two weeks. Not surprisingly many companies want to get in on the gold rush, with savvy sites like Mashable racking up over 100,000 followers on their news account already.

But even as sites like Mashable have thrived, others have found Google+ much less hospitable. Yesterday Google+ took down ABC News Radio’s profile, much to the chagrin of its the company’s digital platform manager Dan Patterson.

Boing Boing spoke with Google about the issue and was told that brand account would be going live within a few months. They took down their official Boing Boing profile and replaced it with an intern who posted news links. But Xeni Jardin wasn’t ready to stop asking why companies like Mashable and Ford seemed to be getting special treatment. “You can’t ask orgs to simply not engage with such a powerful traffic mover. Not when Mashable has 72K followers or whatever. You can’t just ask other brands to chill and wait until [whenever],” she wrote on Google+. Read More