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Data Is The New Soil

In 2013, Mark Cameron wrote

‘Data is not the new oil, it is the new soil.’

He concludes;

"Generating business value from consumer data isn’t about technology at all. It’s about how you use data to create a fantastic experience for your customers. If you can help your customer get value from their own information they will reward you for that effort. If you continue to use data to spam your customers or provide value to your company, you may find yourself wondering where everybody went."

💬 Mark Cameron

IMHO it's a soft article with most of the cleverness centering on the (S)oil pun.

Data is the new .... was the theme of an article I wrote for BizCatalyst a few years ago; Time To Terminate Analogies

"Sure, we wrap the idea up in customer care and nurturing, just as one does when growing plants in a garden, but at the end of the day Cameron’s argument – which seems to emerge from the work of David McCandless who writes at Information is Beautiful is simply a clever play on ‘(s)oil’ and sits squarely in old thinking. "

💬 John Philpin

“The soil analogy is certainly better than big oil but to me, it’s still about personal data being something that’s owned and used by marketers, rather than recognizing that data is used by all of us – both individually and collectively.”

💬 StJohn Deakins

But It Just Got Better

The other day an interview with Jerry Michalski appeared in one of my feeds, where he talked about Data Is TheNew Soil - nice piece - though no mention of Mark Cameron (rightly probably).

I still think the analogy needs to die - but there was a lot more insight and thinking around the idea (definitely not surprised - Jerry is a thinker). I can highly recommend the whole article which isn't just about the (s)oil pun, but includes many other topics, including these that tickled my particular fancy.

  • Idea Superconductivity
  • The Betterverse - not the Metaverse
  • Linky Prose
  • The importance of breaking Zettlekastens out of their private spaces
  • Liquid Democracy

and a whole lot more.

Do take some time out and have a proper read.

Post Script

In case you were wondering .. yes this is the same Jerry that runs Jerry’s Brain. I am even in there - though it is clear that a few updates are needed!

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Data Is The New Oil

As I watch the emerging news surrounding MoviePass and how they are (note - not have .... despite the changes to their app) tracking their customers, I keep hearing ‘Data Is The New Oil'. It is not a new phrase and in fact as far as I can tell was coined by Clive Humby back in 2006 ... but it struck me that if true (it isn’t and I really need to publish that post) then corporations obviously view people as vessels, silos, containers … whatever, but certainly not as people.