Why TikTok is the Latest Contender.
We really need to get a grasp on what is at stake here. Data is the fuel that powers our online world and right at the moment, all the big players are fighting for control. Google, Alibaba, Meta, TikTok, and ByteDance all are powered by the fuel source of data mining. We have the innovators that brought the technology to the mainstream and now governments have entered the ring to control their/the data space.
Good bad or ugly is not clear at this time but the tracers are being fired everywhere to light up the sky in the hopes that we may see the next threat coming. This is a discussion that needs to happen. Data is a new power source a commodity like oil, and it would be advantageous for all of us humans to prepare for the future.
In the past few years, our attention has been focused on our online world. We are entering a new era of common technology usage that has been developed over the past decade. The change is already here, and we are rapidly adapting to good, or not so good, use practices. I am not talking about AI. That is a change that is coming quickly but has not hit the mainstream yet. We will be feeling the effects of AI soon enough. What has hit home now is the power source behind our online world: Data. And with any power resource, the battle to control it is fierce.
I first came to understand the extensive power of data when I grasped the concept in regard to Web 3.0, or the decentralized vision of blockchain. What I understood to have gotten all the big players' panties in a bunch was the fact that an individual's personal data was now on the open market. Zuckerberg's race to put a name on the big "it," Metaverse, was a tactical 21st-century move for power. Now, all the power hounds have entered the battle for dominance.
It was quite a show!
As a digital marketer, I have been on the fence for the past year regarding the commercial value of TikTok. I ran some tests, and quite frankly, I did not see any reason to go all in. As an advertiser, the platform is still risky and undependable. My clients are small business owners that do not have the resources to invest in a platform that moves that quickly in ANY direction at ANY time. They need ROI, and the measurement indicators have just not clearly formed. A business associate described social media as a dragon. You can fear the dragon run away and get your backside torched, face the dragon and try to tame it, or climb on top and ride the dragon. Now, I'm a thrill-seeker by nature, so I'm taking my turn at the reins and showing my clients how to do the same. I don’t let the algorithms run wild on my feeds. I control the reins through my knowledge, my actions, my inquiries, my clicks, and the all-powerful CANCEL. Check out my article on The Almighty Algorithms. The bottom line is I am responsible for my own social feeds.
Is TikTok Evil?
Wired summed it up pretty well. The TikTok Hearing Revealed That Congress Is the Problem
I have come to the conclusion over the past week, after watching the measured intelligent patience of CEO Shou Zi Chew. I too had made assumptions about TikTok and was put in my place by my 22-year-old son who watched the entire hearing, wrote three letters to Congress, and has now entered the political arena. Who am I to question the undeniable results of motivating a Gen Z’er to this level? Looking at the results I decided to be committed to the real discussion, Data, and It's not just TikTok but all the online platform players need to be present.
I was very impressed with Rep. Jeff Jackson, North Carolina who really summed it all up. (My kid shared this with me.)
So I'm all in on the discussion. Data and who owns it, who controls it, and what effect does that have on me? I will refrain from attacking the closest threat and getting my butt burned, and keep my eyes and ears to the sky because a bigger threat could very easily be looming just off the horizon. It's a new world and I'm taking my dragon out for a ride.
Reach out for a talk over coffee or a hike I give information freely. I only ask to be paid when I do the work. firstname.lastname@example.org
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