In the 'Big Brother' society that we live in today, almost every move we make is documented - from the journeys we make using automated travel cards, online bank statements, location details from check-ins on Facebook, buying habits that are archived from online retailers like Amazon, to the types of people we connect with online, determining our personality types.
It's a little mind-blowing to think that interacting on social media, which has very much become a daily ritual for many of us, can influence important social research that shape the way companies target us for particular products.
Are we really that transparent?
We’ve also taken a leaf out of Twitter’s book to improve responses to open-ended questions, by restricting people’s answers to a 140 character ‘tweet’. While asking less to get more may seem counter-intuitive, the approach consistently encourages more people to answer the question and when used in the right context, the restriction forces people to get right to the heart of the matter, giving us clearer insights. In a similar way, we turned to Facebook to generate more spontaneous content on our online communities. Instead of asking people to create discussion forum threads, we have given them a Status Update news feed. This familiar mechanism has hugely increased the amount of user-generated content and conversation.