Dan Biddle| 16:23 UK time, Friday, 12 February 2010
The third episode of Virtual Revolution is called The Cost of Free - and it's not as oxymoronic as you think. The Cost of Free examines the trades made online by users of the web as they share their thoughts, their preferences, their curiosities and their desires with the many search engines, services and media which appear to be delivering information online for free.
'Every day in Britain millions of searches are carried out on Google for free. Every month we spend millions of hours on Facebook for free and read millions of articles from free newspapers.
But now look at it the other way round.
Every day Google gathers millions of search terms that help them refine their search system and give them a direct marketing bonanza that they keep for months.
Every week Facebook receives millions of highly personal status updates that are kept forever and are forming the basis of direct advertising revenue.
Every month free newspapers plant and track a cookie tracking device on your computer that tells them what your range of interests are and allows them to shape their adverts and in the future, even content around you.
So you're not just being watched, you're being traded. The currency has changed.'
The Virtual Revolution looks at how the web is shaping our world. Previously known as Digital Revolution (working title), it has been an open and collaborative production, which asked the web audience to debate programme themes, suggest and send questions for interviewees, watch and comment on interview and graphics clips, and download clips for personal use and re-editing.
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