I had the honor of participating in my first Oxford-style debate at The Economist's Media Convergence Forum in New York City on Wednesday. The proposition before us was: Consumers have more to gain than lose from sharing personal information. Dave Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of Simulmedia joined me on the 'Con' side of the debate. Matthew Wise, President and CEO of Q Interactive and Jeff Jarvis, author of "What would Google do?' and the Buzz Machine Blog led the pro side.
Before the debate started the audience was polled and voted 75% to 25% in favor of the proposition. I was not surprised considering that many attendees of the conference were new media marketers. Clearly, Dave and I had our work cut out for us. Jeff and Matt gave a spirited argument that sharing information was good for business and good for those consumers who willingly chose to share their data. Dave and I responded that we agree that, if users did control their data today, they might be better off choosing to share it, unfortunately, law, technology and corporate policy are often at odds today with providing users anything resembling control. Obviously, I'm vastly summarizing all arguments here, but this gives you a taste.