Imagine being 10 years old, in a schoolyard, and one of your
friends tells you something. Later, another friend sees you and
asks what the first one said. You say, "sorry, that's a secret."
What happens? Well, your second friend can decide it's worth his
time to offer you part of lunch or maybe he'll tell you something
valuable in trade for what you heard earlier. You decide among you
what is right.
It is human nature to restrict and to reveal.
The relationship between service and audience on the Web will grow
more intimate as the user sets expectations higher and higher.
Along the way, the users will want to speak, to expose their own
interests so the service can offer more personalized information.
Web services will begin to accumulate very intimate knowledge
about their users.
In our offices we run WebCrawler. It's amazing
to watch the keywords come in from users. We can tell that most
surfers are just "kicking the tires" on the Internet -- surfing
with no particular place to go. We can see that when users aren't
finding what they are looking for, they will rephrase their search
again and again in hope of getting the results they seek. Search
terms are like ad hoc user-interest profiles. The WebCrawler team
is looking at how we can have users register to receive material
based on their personal preferences. We have to be careful,
because many times users don't really want others to know about
all of their interests.
Some Web producers will have problems with how they acquire and
use customer data. HotWiredfound that many users just wouldn't
access their site if they had to fill in a registration form, so
they dropped that restriction altogether, forfeiting that data in
order keep their site usage up.
In general, users will choose their services based as much on
their trust of the people behind the service as for any other