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Dweigner

It seems the likely selling point for Google/use case is that you have a circle of friends/acquaintances that you may not talk to regularly, or talk to regularly but not about every purchase you're considering, so the sponsored at makes this communication easier (because it's asynchronous, passive, etc.), or best case from Google's perspective, a W-O-M recommendation you might not have received otherwise. Apologies if this point is obvious and I missed it in your post.

Dweigner

/sponsored ad

Ken

Is it really a problem that if I have told Google who I know, and have told the world through Google that I have purchased certain products that Google then lets particular people know. That is assuming that it preserves any attempts I've made at anonymity. That was/is one of the problems with Facebook, they want real names, and then are happy to do what they like with them.

One problem is if and when they start passing information to people based purely on their harvesting of data. One thing that the suggested friends for Facebook and contacts for LinkedIn has made me realise is that these companies have or buy some fairly sophisticated analysis of anything that is publicly available on the web.

Kaiser

Dweigner: There are parallels to the Groupon material from my book. Not all endorsements that result in purchases are the same. What proportion of the purchases attributed to such endorsements come from interactions that would otherwise not have occurred without Google's intervention?

Ken: Do you think Oprah or anyone whose endorsement is really worth something will be participating in this scheme?

Ken

The assumption would be that if there are lots of endorsements, they will more than match something that Oprah does. I not certain how well it will work, but most peoples worry seems to be the privacy issue, and I don't think there is one, at least in its current form.

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