Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@outlook.com) is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services and capabilities are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Follow him on Google+. He also publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain.

Honest, I'm Not Opposed to Location Based Services!

By Dennis D. McDonald

Honest, I’m not against location based services!

  • If you want to embed details of your geographic location in all messages emerging from your portable, mobile, or static communication device, that’s fine with me.
  • If you want to receive and take advantage of such data when you’re out and about, that’s fine with me, too.
  • If you’re a business desiring to take advantage of such information that’s freely and openly available on various channels and frequencies, go right ahead.

I understand the advantages, I really do. There are many situations where location information, whether actively or passively generated, can be enormously helpful (see illustration). After all, one of the oldest and truest sayings is “birds of a feather flock together.” There’s nothing anyone can do or say to change that.

I do have two requests:

  1. Let me opt out of openly advertising my physical location as a condition of using your web site, networking service, or communication system. I completely understand how dependent my cellphone service depends on such data being automatically tracked, but please don’t make me advertise such data without some acknowledgement on my part. Facebook’s enablement of some control over location specific account information is a positive step, I think.
  2. Don’t assume I want to know from second to second where you are on Twitter. I like Twitter and enjoy the free service immensely, but its increasing use as a spamming platform is annoying. Having to wade through numerous Foursquare “I’m now mayor of..” announcements is also getting bothersome. If I’m following you on Twitter I’m more interested in your ideas than your location.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Dennis D. McDonald

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