We have increasingly smart, surveillant persuasion architectures. Architectures aimed at persuading us to do something. At the moment it’s clicking on an ad. And that seems like a waste. We’re just clicking on an ad. You know. It’s kind of a waste of our energy. But increasingly it is going to be persuading us to support something, to think of something, to imagine something.
I think it’s deeply important that we add a working knowledge of business and business models to what it means to be web-literate. The sites that we use, there’s big money behind them, and there’s even bigger profit motives in front of them. We need to be able to think critically about where we build our communities, about what they’re doing with our data, and about when—not if—they monetize us.