Today at the Tory party conference the Chancellor, George Osbourne, is announcing a policy whereby long term unemployed benefit claimants will be expected to engage with the hand that feeds them (the State) in order to receive their handout.
Why should a person receive taxpayer’s money for doing nothing? I am no scientist and don’t back my remarks with robust empirical data. This is a gut reaction based on common-sense.
For the record I am not a Tory fan, anymore that I am a Liberal or Labour fan.
Read the very liberal BBC’s analysis here.
But it’s not, it’s an intentional typo to get the title to have a bit of zing. Lord Leverhulme is the fellow’s name and he is reputed to have said he knew half of his advertising was wasted, but didn’t know which half.
The bit of the digital revolution that seems to pass people by is just how this has been kicked into the long grass. All these cool services and all for “free”. Facebook, Google, Nectar Cards and so on and so forth. They are buying your personal data from you so, as they would put it, they can tailor their specific offerings to you.
Bollocks: if you’re spending money on advertising you can now get a very granular view of where the money is generating a return. I used to run very efficient Google AdWords. You give data for free, they package it and sell it to me, the business owner, as a product. It’s like being sold a .50 cal sniper rifle. It can do far more than you can ever imagine. My issue was having the time to use the power of the tool amongst all the shag and hassle of running a business. I could tell a huge amount about the users of the site, what pages worked, the route through the site to purchase etc. I could tailor my web offering – how we sold – so much more effectively. And that didn’t rely on me harvesting personal data as you’d already given it to Google. Thanks.
When you participate in a Loyalty Card style scheme you are just doing their job for them. Give it 50y and we’ll all have an implanted chip that we can (you hope) choose who gets to read. Very sci-fi and paranoid sounding I realise. Nonetheless, imagine if your chip can register your physiological reactions to certain stimuli as well as your easily observable habits and send them to a computer? How saleable is that?
I am not anti all this ever increasing intrusiveness because I believe that in my lifetime at least I’ll get to choose who I give the crown jewels of my personal info to. If I pimp out my data then I expect to know what I am getting. Compelling offers, unique content, personalised marketing, ad spend tracking are all ways the free market operates to sell more for less. Caveat emptor – don’t blame the companies. If you don’t like it then don’t play.
As one Mr Shadbolt Esq put it once: “If you’re not the customer, you’re the product”.