Responding to the Social WiFi Roundtable

This is a great topic, and a great video. I am totally bummed that I was not able to join live. However, using the power of the Interwebs, I will now go back in time to respond to some of what’s being said. I love technology.

Here’s the video to play along at home:

2:03 – To Keith:

“For some reason wifi vendors think “Oh we have to make our customer think this itself is gonna make them back money”.

That point is off a little bit, in my opinion. Its not ::rubbing hands together:: vendors trying to slide one by on the customer, it’s integrators proving the value proposition of their product. Not only does it do everything the customer needs / wants / desires, but it also allows the business owner to recoup their costs. Heaven forbid we sell something that actually has a $0 economic impact on our customers. I wish everything had an ROI like that attached to it!! Escalators may not make that play because they can’t. Wi-Fi is in the fortunate position where it can, which is huge for the industry. It’s not everyday that you can position a product with your customer that does what they need, pays for itself, and might even make them some money in the long run. We’re lucky that we, as technologists, have a product that does that.

3:20 – To Steve:

“Yeah but I can plug my Tesla into your electrical outlet..”

Nice one.

5:52 – To Keith:

“The stores are lazy. The stores could do it right now. The could get analytics anytime they wanted by using clickers.”

You could walk to WFD from home, but you don’t. Technology has allowed you to fly here. Are you saying that people shouldn’t take advantage of tech breakthroughs that save time, money, and resources while delivering huge amounts of data as an added bonus? We could go back to hanging numbers on scoreboards at ball games too, but we don’t; we use digital signage to track the players, their hits, etc and look what it gives us: batting averages, percentages, on base records, etc. simply and easily.

“And they did, and they’d still do it if it wasn’t for the vendors saying “We have this really cool way that if you buy our stuff it’ll just work”.

I’m so lost with this point. Someone invented something that helps customers do things more efficiently and has loads of benefits, and to market their products into an industry the talk about the amazing features of it, and you’re faulting them for it? I really don’t understand.

7:01 – To Richard:

“If you’re signing into Spotify and linking all of these services with your Facebook account, you’re already there.”

Exactly. We are not accessing anything that was not made available by you.

7:09 – To Lee:

“But that’s between you and Facebook. Not between you and Facebook and whoever owns the bar, or whoever their VAR is, or my weird cousin Leroy.”

But now it IS between you and the bar, or the VAR, or whoever YOU approve access to. No one is forcing a user to sign in socially, or penalizing them if they don’t. When you give access to an app, whoever controls that app has the access.

9:00 – To Stephen:

“Is there a chance that social wifi is going to have that same kind of thing where people realize “well, maybe this isn’t radically great data, maybe we should just not use it”

I don’t know. I don’t think so. Where someone is willing to spike the data, like Sam mentions, to sign-up for something, this is a a little different. Social media interactions already behoove people to share their genuine likes and information because the realness is the part they want to share; the check-ins, the bands they like, all of it. The median age of MySpace must have been 105 at one point because everyone had a bunk birthday on there, but things have changed a bit. I could be wrong and just getting older and more disconnected, but the more stuff I see online, the more celebration of the truth there is. That being said, if people are honest with what they put in, then the results are honest coming out. The world is just now starting to realize some of the potential in interpreting this data, but to me its fascinating.

13:00 – THANK YOU BLAKE. 🙂
The permissions that are requested when you use Scrape, or Target’s app, or any 3rd party app require you to see AND APPROVE everything that the app is requesting. It is up to you to allow it access or not.
Check this out, if you wanna see everything you’ve granted, go here:

And if that’s not enough, they introduced new Facebook login rules that are going into effect right now.
17:15 – To George:
Speaking about iOS MAC obscurification.
What I find odd is that they are limiting the usability of the MAC address chipset for location and contectual based services, while promoting iBeacon in the same breath. They don’t want you to be tracked via MAC, only via .. Mac. 🙂

That’s really all I got on this. I would have loved to sit in the session with you all to discuss more. Like I told Keith at the event here, through conversations like this, it helps mold how these things are taken to market. It is up to us to help define the ways the technologies are used. I think there is a goldmine of information out there that *someone* is going to start to tap, and they have already started .. but at the end of the day, no matter how much it gets shrugged off, it is in fact up to the education of the end-user. The new Facebook login features for example make it more clear what the app has access to, but if you just click OK and don’t read the ToS or what you’re giving up, don’t get upset when someone uses that data.

Hope you all have safe flights and a wonderful weekend. 🙂

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