Google announced that it’s going to imprint a tracking algorithm being referred to as a “fingerprint” on video media for it’s video systems (Google Video and YouTube). I had conversations with colleague Jeff Scott over coffee, and we came up with some interesting risk analysis. While the media industry breathes a sigh of relief, what are the business and user impacts for such a system?
Potential risks and considerations:
1) This finger printing system, which is likely invisible to users, could decisively leave small pixels that could eventually be added to create a unique identifier. Sadly, there’s no security system ever that is fool proof.
2) For Google, this could be a media lock in process. Media companies that want to play on the world wide web would go through Google to submit video and for it to become imprinted with the fingerprint.
3) With trust increasing for online distribution, Google will become the IPTV player of choice, furthering it’s mission to organize the world’s information –and generate contextual advertising dollars.
4) Google becomes the cop, and has the power. As Google builds the security system, they become the single police force, and continue to maintain more control.
Other options for media brands
What should Media brands consider before jumping onto Google’s priopriatary security system? Seek other forms of fingerprinting and watermarket, and consider deploying video on other platforms, not just on Google. I expect other video fingerprinting systems to appear that can be leased or sold to media companies, giving more control over content.
So before we embrace the much needed tracking system, let’s first look at the impacts it could have on online media, although dominant, Google is not the only video platform to consider.
Facebook = Blackhole, Whirlpool, Vortex.
Facebook is a closed garden with one way doors. Data in, but no data out. With so many companies, startups, ecommerce companies building widgets for this platform did anyone stop to consider that they’re not letting data flow out? Matt Dickman agrees, watch his video. Here’s what we should be concerned about:
1) For example, my non-Facebook friends can’t see what I’m doing, and I’m a public guy. If I link to Facebook, you have to register and sign up, brilliant web acquisition for Facebook.
2) But after I’ve setup my profile, and I would like it to be an open platform, I should have the ability to make my profile public and let folks see the elements I want.
3) What about my network? data? Profile? I want to export those. (Same thing to LinkedIn). The rolodex of today has an important field “friends”. I want to be able to export my network other systems and applications. What say you Marc Canter? Here’s a softball.
4) Last gripe? As far as I know Facebook doesn’t even have RSS
Opportunity for Facebook
Facebook (and whichever network follows suit) has a huge opportunity to not just be an application platform, but to be a true identity system for the entire network. This is why I think that Facebook could kill Open ID. So before we start jumping up and down, giving Facebook all of our data, and building our company widgets in Facebook should we first think about if this is a black hole?
LinkedIn’s Web Strategy, irrelevant?
Update: Jason Fields send me this link to ProfileLinker, it says it offers a portable social network address book.
(If you can’t see the player, access the file directly)
I got the opportunity to interview Shannon Clark at Doc Searl’s Mobile ID workshop. He shares with us a few of this projects that he’s working on, Never Eat Lunch Alone (NELA). Of course the topics of how to gain that identity and information is important.
I hope Shannon swings by and leaves us an update with how things are going with his projects.