Cool Economist piece on the social web in its Technology Quarterly, but it's really about business intelligence, a field that is skyrocketing in its ability to monitor, analyze and create new marketing strategies from the wealth of info that is naturally captured by online behavior. Similar thing is coming down the pike in the healthcare industry with the advent of electronic medical records--huge bonanza.
In the first instance, a lot of biz intell used to simply keep existing customers by making them happier. The most sophisticated stuff will be used to sniff our fraud and criminal behavior.
A classic example of an old concept of mine--actually the heart and soul of the "new map": with connectivity comes circumscribed behavior because each connection reveals you to others, but in return you are offered fabulous access and efficiencies and the more tailored meeting of your desires. It is a transaction: the more you reveal, the more respondents can predict your needs and wants and behaviors--both good and bad.
And the mapping technology (like my wonderful Google maps on my Motorola Droid) only kicks that process into high gear.
An amazing amount of new rules to work out on all of this--a fascinating process to witness in coming years.