At work yesterday, Pierre passed along a link, featuring a type of paywall he (nor myself) had ever come across before. This Nexus 5 review at KnowYourMobile.com allows you to read the first tast of their page, then blocks the rest of the content until you pay the piper for the rest. Paywalls are a common practice now for a lot of magazines and news’papers’. Subscription models where they give you a taste of content, or a few articles… any kind of throttled access, and you sign up/pay for more.
I hate paying for information, but we all need to make money, right? I mean I used to be a reporter ‘back in the day’ (before on-line), so know what it means to have the ever-loving-reader pay my bills. In exchange for hard work and interesting reading of course.
Though I degress, the most interesting point of the knowyourmobile example is that you don’t pay, or subscribe, or sign up to continue to the full content. You answer a poll question about a brand. And if you revisit the page the question actually changes. This is the first clear example that I’ve seen where information has actually replaced money as currency. They don’t ask for your information (gleaning lots through your browser already), they have you meaningfully exchange something (your opinion about a product) and that’s enough to consider you paid. It’s actually pretty ingenious on the surface, and I don’t think this model will be fly-by-night/going away. It’s powered by Google.
So what are the implications? it’s a public example of how your information is interchangeable with money. Your wageable dollars are directly exchangeable with opinion data and information now. In more naive I would think hackers would steal lists of personal information so they could plug the data into cracking software and essentially wait at the door of the safe for the green light to come on and the money to fly out. Now, your personal data (depending what it is) is worth the money itself and can be traded, refined and sold any number of ways on the black, grey, or white markets (depending how it’s collected).
Okay, this is a blog post so shouldn’t be a million words. Look into this more, as I know I will. And my final thought? If currency in terms of dollar amounts is now being replaced with information, where will the actual ‘new money’ be generated? If it’s ads that are fueling, say, 50% of the economy, prices of the products can only go up. Miracle Whip pays a premium to their media buy to get public opinion data…well the price of Mayo goes up to. We pay for it in the end. But I guess we knew that.