Pack your personal data locker. We're about to leave for camp. Some fear it will be the kind of camp where Jason shows up to hack into their identities. For others, it looks like a posh resort where wants and needs are fulfilled automatically, often before they are conscious desires. Reality, of course, will lie somewhere along a continuum from heaven to hell, and possibly in the Twilight Zone.
David Siegel explains that your online locker will be filled with bits of the semantic web: clear, unambiguous words and numbers in standardized formats, commonly called "metadata." Presently, it's scattered all over the Internet in multiple and redundant data silos. Don't let the computer terms scare you away. He uses only necessary ones and explains them well. This is disambiguation at its best. His vision of the future, 10, 20, 30 years from now, is densely packed with enough material for several books. He includes references to groups already demonstrating or working on the "pull" economy. ThePowerOfPull.com website website will contain the links he lists, enabling readers to research and follow our progression into the future.
His vision places so much online that it almost fulfills authors' wishes to send thoughts directly into computers to produce books. And it all begins with that "personal data locker" not mentioned until Chapter 8: Passive Commerce, 100 pages into Pull. The focus until then is on businesses, but the center of businesses is customers, not profit, in the pull economy. Individual people comprise customers, each with unique characteristics, preferences and needs, even when they congregate into another business or organization.
Pull suggests what's to come through concrete examples of:
- Which industries are already ahead.
- Which industries are already dead.
- How to make the power shift from pushing to pulling information.
- How software, hardware, media and marketing will all change.
- How to plan your own strategy for embracing the semantic web.
Future businesses will need access to all pertinent information about customers. How much more efficient would it be if that data were stored in one place, under the control of its owner?
"But, but, someone might use that against me!" a horrified woman in a Starbucks said after listening to a brief description of Pull. "You hear about hackers breaking into this and that database every day!" She has a good point, one Siegel somewhat glosses over. He theorizes that we are safer with all our data aggregated, but without explaining how or why.