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Web Tomorrow in 7 quotes

Don't worry if you missed WebTomorrow 2015: we summarized the event for you in seven quotes.

Not only did we treat our visitors to gin & tonics, we also listened to what was being said on- and off-stage.

It seems everyone's concerned about the tension between personalisation and privacy:

Dis-engaged, mis-targeted, dis-nurtured, dis-connected, dis-customered happens all too often on the web nowadays

- Chris Nash, Sitecore 

What's worse, according to Chris Nash, is that marketers think this can't be avoided, because of technical reasons. Customers will never accept being serviced poorly because of technical reasons however. It is simply not a valid excuse.

Applications are arrogant

 - Bert Gabriels, comedian 

Ask Google a question and in 0.3 second you get 7 million answers. Online services need to be aware of what users feel: before you know it, users get fed up with being patronised.

NMBS' (the national railway service) customer data is leaked to the web and all we can do is unliking it .

 - Reagan McDonald, EU Policy Manager at Accessnow.org 

According to Reagan McDonald, there is not enough regulation for protecting personal data and privacy. Above all, there is no accountability. The only thing left to us consumers is showing our disapproval. As a society, we need to do more than that.

86% of users suffer banner-blindness

 - Lauren Pederson, VP Global Marketing at CXENSE ASA 

What women want: we want YOU to know what we want, without us having to tell it.

 - Lauren Pederson, VP Global Marketing at CXENSE ASA 

Banner blindness is a symptom of an underlying truth: individual relevance is the weapon of choice in the battle for the consumer.

When Facebook says 'private' they actually mean 'public'

 - Aral Balkan, Lead designer and founder at Ind.ie 

What Mark Zuckerberg said in the early days of Facebook proves this point. When asked how he got hold of the personal information of 4.000 Harvard students, he answered:

I don't know, they just submitted it, the dumb fucks

 - Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook

In conclusion:
An important theme of WebTomorrow was the thin line between privacy and convenience. We demand a perfect service, but can we live with the inevitable consequence that our data is no longer private? 

Two examples for further illustrating the point:

  • Nest - the smart thermostat - uses the data it gathers about us to serve us as best as possible (saving energy and increasing comfort). That same information is being used by Google to show us more relevant, better performing ads;
  • Target sent coupons for baby-related products to a pregnant teenager even before she had the chance to tell her parents that she was expecting. Her parents were furious, but eventually Target had it on the right track.

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