Data and Catering to the User

Process Post 8

The longer I run this blog, the more I’m starting to notice how the things that tend to draw me in are quite different from the things that might draw in my audience. For example, when logging onto my blog the first thing that I tend to gravitate towards are the recipes. As someone who loves cooking, my eyes immediately go to that section and the images that accompany each of the posts are a big draw for me. However, based on the Google Analytics installed on my site, it was really interesting to see that the section that is most viewed are my Process Posts. Technically it does make sense, given that a large quantity of my audience are peers from this class and the Process Post section will be most helpful as a guide to help them complete their own works. Still, seeing the contrast was really interesting.

Even more than that, what I’ve been incredibly intrigued by is just how much of our day to day actions can be tracked. Our society is so reliant on computers and modern day technology that we don’t even realize when we’re using them half of the time. For example when I go to the coffee shop on my way to class and pay for my drink and little treat, I don’t think about being tracked. However, even the simple act of paying with my credit card is me giving data about my location and tastes to the bank that the card is connected to and the store. I also take the bus every Tuesday to get to class rather than taking the long drive to campus, and me using my Compass card offers up data about my route, my habits, and my status as a student to the transit authority. It’s crazy to think about how much of my thoughtless acts are able to be tracked!

On one hand, I don’t like the idea that I’m being surveyed all the time. While I’m not the most interesting person in the world and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to track my data, there are some things that I would prefer to keep to myself. On the other hand, as someone with an interest in true crime, I can’t help but think about the potential to locate either missing persons or suspects using this kind of technology, and how many crimes in the past might have been solved had it been available. Just some food for thought!

Works Cited

Pod Academy. 2016. “Digital breadcrumbs: The data trail we leave behind us.”

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