Intel has launched a new Facebook application that might be the worlds first viral, consumer driven netnography tool: the Museum of Me. I’m quite certain that they didn’t intend for that to be the case but the end result is the same; an application that compiles all of your content from your Facebook profile and allows users to “Create and explore a visual archive of your social life”.
Opinions are divided about whether this is cool or creepy, but it is undeniably an indication of how much consumers will share if you make it an engaging experience for them as well as an example of how technology can be used to build deep and rich virtual ethnographic profiles.
Here is a description from CNET blogger Don Reisinger:
As the tour commences, users will “walk” through rooms, showing the profile pictures of friends, personal photos, videos from their profiles, and much more. The “museum” also includes a collection of status updates and other content posted to their wall. Another room shows the user’s location information on a map.
Undoubtedly, some will look at Museum of Me and think it’s a bit creepy that Intel was able to pull that much information from the user’s profile to put into the program. However, it’s worth noting that all the information available in Museum of Me is content the user has already shared with friends on their Facebook profile. Moreover, Intel’s application is not publicly shared.
Here is a screen shot of my own “Pictures Gallery” to give you a sense of the look and feel of the experience:
Perhaps most impressive is that at the end of the tour you see a “back room” where industrial robots sort through the profile pictures of all of your connections, and then a visual representation of how you are connected in the the web of your social network.
This is where things could get interesting. If an enterprising MR firm (although more likely it would be a BI-centric organization or social media monitoring tech provider) could tie some analytics into this similar to a KLOUT score to determine influence or perhaps even used a “Digividuals” type bot to follow each of the links on your profile (or even better for all of your friend’s profiles), it would create an unprecedented opportunity to engage consumers as partners in a netnographic “tracking study”.
Far fetched? Not at all. All of the technology to do this exists today. Brainjuicer already uses Digividuals to create virtual segmentation schemes using a similar process and Decooda uses a technology called “deep web” combined with text analytics to explore multiple levels of documents connected to an initial target concept. It would not be difficult to tie these technologies together to create a whole new way to collect consumer virtual ethnographic data.
Intel has created a compelling visual “hook” that engages users to such an extent that they willingly allow access to their personal information. Market Research has much to learn from this example.
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