Social Media Roundup: Don’t Create a Bad Intro

The dangers of being too willing to share attendee data with others. Also: A conference where openly sharing data isn't just allowed, it's encouraged.

The dangers of aggressive harvesting of attendee data. Also: a conference where openly sharing data isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged.

Last week, LinkedIn launched a service that appeared, on the surface, to be a good idea.

The service, Intro, is supposed to make it easier to put a name to a face when looking at email on mobile devices, as it plugs into the preexisting iOS Mail program seamlessly. (That’s a major technical feat, because iOS Mail is closed off to developers.)

But after folks in the technical community got a whiff of the cost connected with the benefit (every message you send now goes through LinkedIn’s servers, and the method used could easily lend itself to phishing attempts), all bets were off, and LinkedIn is now facing reams of bad press over the saga.

It’s the line you walk when you work with consumer data, and it’s something to be mindful of with your members and other customers. More thoughts in today’s Social Media Roundup:

Loosey Goosey

Where the data goes: Are we going to reach a point where privacy concerns trump the benefits that come with signing up for an event? Adrian Segar’s worried. “These days, when a registration list can be converted in a few minutes into data for a bulk email, mail, or phone campaign,” he says, “we need to start thinking about these questions and coming up with some answers. Event organizers and planners need to take responsibility for the data they obtain, and clearly communicate when asking for it how it may be used.” He raises an important question—how can you ensure you’re not being careless with your customer data? (ht @TRAVISInc)

Share and Share Alike

But then again … In some contexts, data harvesting can be useful to everyone involved. Good example: the use of NFC (near-field communications)-enabled conference badges at the recent Future Stack conference, which allowed attendees and marketers to easily share information with a little tap. But more interesting is the way conference organizer and analytics firm New Relic is using the data to determine more general trends about attendees—including locations, popular events, how resources are used during the day, and so on. Given the right approach (emphasis on right), this could be just the way to transparently mix data and marketing. (ht @deirdrereid)

What’s on your radar for today? Tell us about it in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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