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Big Data and Online Disinhibition: ‘Who Am I?’ When I Post Comments Online


First published on www.huffingtonpost.com


Big data is not a replacement for behavioral data, such as user and usage data, or psychographic data, which includes information on attitudes, values, opinions and lifestyle. Big data is simply a term to describe large complex data sets, and data often collected from unstructured sources such as comments consumers leave on blogs (as opposed to answers given to more structured surveys).

Just over 70% of the US population uses a social media network (Jones 2013) and so it is hardly surprising that big data has become the latest “must have” data source as organizations look for fresh new consumer insights or better ways to measure behavior and psychographic variables.

Those who share my interest in marketing to women see big data as one way to gain insights into her world because women became the majority of web users in the US in 2000 (Learned 2013). Furthermore, Nielsen reports that women talk on the phone more than men, text more than men, use the social features of phones more than men and visit Internet community sites more than men (Frighetto, 2011). Women also outnumber men in the use of Facebook and Pinterest (Fehling, 2012).


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