Don't Get Hoodwinked, Know Your Digital Value

You attention, content and data all have value. How does one quanitify how much this is worth? Understanding this can make sure that you don't get hoodwinked by big data.

Posted by Joseph Christian on May 3th, 2018

I was talking with my friend the other night about the concept of digital value.

“I know I give social media platforms data about myself, but I get a free service in exchange,” my friend said.

“It's not a free service,” I countered. “You pay for it with your data.”

There was a moment of silence before I began again, “Its a trade, so the question is are you getting fair value for your data? Are the cat memes and reminders to tell friends happy birthday worth the mountains of data they collect on you?”

“I'm not sure,” my friend said.

Therein lies the problem. Even though most of us spend hours on our phones and computers every day few of us know what our digital value is.

If you don't know what something is, how are you going to get fair value for it?

What is Digital Value?

Is it your personal data? Your shopping history? A blog you wrote?

In the way things work today, all of these things can help to create digital value, but that value is largely only realized through the advertising mechanism in which they are monetized. And this advertising is not traditional advertising, it is surveillance advertising.

Internet giants track you online so they can sell billions of dollars in ads, of which you see next to none.

For the most part, your personal data or shopping history is not monetized until a company like Facebook obtains it through digital surveillance and then uses it to sell a targeted ad to an advertiser. Likewise, your blog post does not make money until you use a third party ad platform that tracks how many clicks the targeted ads that are hosted on your blog generate.

This surveillance economy has a number of problems, but the largest is that it creates a financial incentive to spy on users and collect mountains of data in centralized locations.

David Dayen in his New Republic article “Ban Targeted Advertising” explains this danger, “It facilitates monopoly, as those with the biggest data troves receive all the ad dollars. That centralizes the potential for and magnitude of abuse, with Big Data used to discriminate against groups, steer vulnerable people to financial scams, and meddle in U.S. elections.”

If you need any further confirmation of these issues, just read the news.

There needs to be a larger framework, beyond the ability to sell ads that can quantify what digital value is.

The framework needs to encompass the multi-faceted nature of digital value, while at the same time allowing room for future additions to the idea of digital value. But most of all it needs to be a fair system where digital value is not monopolized, but rather distributed to those who create it.

This is why the Alpha Token Foundation is on a mission is to reinvent the digital ecosystem so that both content creators and ad viewers are fairly paid and protected. We are working to try to define the idea of digital value in the broad terms of your time, attention and intellectual property.

Every time you spend your time and attention to watch ads and commercials you create value and should be compensated. Every time someone views your intellectual property or is allowed to access your data, you create value and should be compensated.

Value your attention and content creations more.

Find out more about the tools the Alpha Token Foundation is building to help you take your digital wealth back using the power of blockchain technology.

Joseph Christian writes for the Alpha Token Foundation which is dedicated to using blockchain-powered technology and cryptocurrency to build a transparent and secure digital ecosystem where content consumers, creators and advertisers can receive the fair value of their digital assets.