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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Web personalization: the convenience that cripples

Great article:

Think you're on the Internet right now? Well, you're not. You're on your Internet. The exact version of the online world that you see is available only to you.

Most of the major conduits through which you see the world online, including Google Search and Facebook, are gathering all kinds of data about you, then presenting you with a custom version of the world they think you're interested in. They're hiding or de-emphasizing the version of the world they assume you're not interested in...

... Sophisticated personalization engines improve things in the short run. But in the long run, they dumb us down, reduce our exposure to new ideas and ultimately could lead to a society without a shared set of facts about the world. The personalized Internet favors the marketers and propagandists but provides an obstacle for people who are trying to introduce new ideas.
Worth the click:

Posted via email from Fred's posterous