Andrew Baron Selling Twitter Account, Database For Sale?
Chris Brogan raised the question people should be asking about Andrew Baron's eBay sale of his Twitter account.
What are you buying? What's the value?
Laura Fitton said on Twitter: "you can't sell relationships." You can't. But you sure as heck can sell data.
In the case of Twitter, you can't export meaningful amounts of data from Twitter followers from Twitter directly.
If Baron put up his Facebook account, that'd be a different story, because I can extract real data from it - names, email addresses, other contact information. At that point, it's a database, and we buy & sell databases all the time.
What would I pay for that? The going rate is about $1.50 per valid identity on the commercial markets - you can buy header files from credit bureaus with roughly the same data for about $1.50 a head if you're buying in bulk. Experian, Transunion, Equifax - all of them are selling YOU already, at a cost far below what your personal worth is.
Companies are buying and selling your data all the time. I can't give specifics, but of the companies I've worked for in the last decade, most of them bought customer lists at one point or another, and the sad reality is that your personal identity, information, and privacy are dirt cheap.
You are for sale.
A piece of Andrew Baron is for sale, as is his followers on Twitter.
He's just being transparent about it.
Incidentally, if I were a current or future Rocketboom advertiser, I'd buy this account in a heartbeat and run some analytics on it. Who DMs or @s Andrew the most, about what topics, and are those people running media channels of their own that I should advertise on?
Also, you can't export data from Twitter. But you can cross-reference data pools you already have with Twitter. A social graph of Twitter cross-referenced with your house list and other social networks will tell you quickly who participates in that account's first level relationships. THAT has value to someone who wants to market to Andrew or his connections.
- Name? Maybe.
- Location? Fairly often.
- Friend count? Definitely.
- Follower count? Definitely.
Combine that with other data pools, and Twitter is giving me something truly usable, something that might be worth paying for.
With the right tools, if I started with a million address email list bought on the cheap from a broker, I could use social networks - especially high profile ones like Andrew's - to cleanse my list and determine if the addresses were of value. Remember, you can't pull any data from private or protected profiles publicly - but if you bought a high profile account, you'd gain access to those individuals who established relationships privately but are still hidden publicly. Value.
Oh yeah, and if you see a LinkedIn profile for sale, be afraid. There's lots of usable data in there.
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