- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143121235
- ISBN-13: 978-0143121237
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 115 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think Reprint Edition
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A lot of our clients are struggling with the speed of change. In social media, in marketing and in customer behavjour. They are also struggling with innovation .
A friend (thanks Alan Boyd) recommended "Filter Bubble". Boy(d) am I impressed. It is a book that covers the impact of the introduction of personalised search. My search results on "soccer" will be very different than yours (Ajax!). And that has all kinds of consequences.
Touches on privacy, data, innovation, culture, the role of news, democracy, marketing, selling, tracking, etc.
Reminds me of "From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg" and how the internet can be a source of good, but also a source of evil (like the invention of the book, that opened knowledge to the masses, but was then uses as a way to enforce dogmas though books such as the bible). Also reminds me of "Brandwashed", a nasty book about marketing.
If you had any doubts about the internet after reading "Future minds" and "The shallows", you be even more concerned. Big brother has arrived and is called Acxiom (billions of data profiles), Bluecavia (database of every computer, mobile device, piece of hardware), Google and Facebook.
Why is that important to business?
- Personalised search will make it more difficult to reach your target market.
- Personalised search will impact on your innovation capability.
- With the available data you can pinpoint clients to a very high degree.
- With the available data and technology you can influence buying behaviour in ways that you can't even imagine.
- Data is everything.
- You have to decide how ethical you want to be on data, tracking, influencing, branding and selling.
- Expect a backlash if you are not.
Learned lots of new words:
- Attention crash
- Click signals
- Naive realisme (we believe the world is as it appears to be)
- Confirmation bias
- Information obesity
Some interesting facts
Did you know that:
- The top 50 sites install 64 cookies each on your computer to track your behaviour
- 36% of Americans get their news through social media sites
- Yahoo uses the stream of search queries to make news
- 15% of Americans believed that Obama is Muslim.
- The percentage had doubled
- Targeted persuasion styles can increase effectiveness of marketing material by 30-40%
- The Netflix algorithm is better at making recommendations than you
- LinkedIn can forecast where you will be in 5 years time
- Personalisation will become the new marketing
- The next attractive man or woman who friends you on Facebook could turn out to be an advertisement for a bag of chips
- That in the future websites will morph to your personal preferences to increase your purchase intentions
We are dumbing down, hyper focus and bias displaces general knowledge, context, contrast, discovery, serendipity and ultimately innovation and creativity.
You literally become what you click. As with food, you are what information you consume (picture information obesity). With as the ultimate consequence an identity loop and the threat of monoculture (1984).
Through manipulation, curation, context and information flow you can be managed. Imagine a world where Google searches, Facebook likes, your e-mails, your documents (Google docs!), your DNA, your location data from your iPhone or Android, RFID on all the items you bought, the data from your cookies on your computer and more are all combined and are then used to:
The cloud is just a handful of companies. What would happen if Google would do evil and Facebook goes into politics (!!!).
A passionate plea
To end with the author;
As billions come online in India and Brazil and Africa, the Internet is transforming into a truly global place. Increasingly, it will be the place where we live our lives. But in the end, a small group of American companies may unilaterally dictate how billions of people work, play, communicate, and understand the world. Protecting the early vision of radical connectedness and user control should be an urgent priority for all of us.
The lessons for business; opportunity, threat, be aware, take a position
That danger is the risk that we will lose "serindipity," as our technological tools (including Google) seek to identify and present only the content which it knows we will be interested in, reducing or eliminating the opportunity to be exposed to new information, new ideas, and other viewpoints.
Pariser acknowledges that others have warned about this before, including Cass Sunstein in his book, Republic 2.0. Indeed, it was serindipity that led me to find Sunstein's book, and his misguided belief that government intervention would likely be required to avoid isolation in "enclaves." (Pariser reports that Sunstein has retreated from that suggestion.)
When I reviewed Republic 2.0, I believed that most consumers, or at least enough of us to matter, would actively seek out novel and different ideas.
But Pariser convinces me, in The Filter Bubble, that even the most thoughtful citizens, seeking to maintain exposure to new and different content and viewpoints, might be thwarted by the very tools we use to filter the flood of information.
"A personalization device in the sanctuary will read your data from your cell phone as you walk into worship, and will select individualized music for you for worship so you can sing your own song, while others around you sing the songs selected for them that match their preferences, all based on an algorithm developed by, but not understood by, technicians at Google."
This is not a scenario Eli Pariser describes in his book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, but it is a scenario I as a pastor imagined as a possibility after reading his book.
Eli Pariser's central thesis is that the development of personalization algorithms on search engines and social networks (his primary, but not exclusive, targets here are Google and Facebook), means that each of us is increasingly (and often unwittingly) experiencing a personalized and filtered bubble of information. And inasmuch as we are doing so, we aren't experiencing the free range of connections and ideas that a true democracy or open system would expose us to.
The book itself is a rather breathless and inspiring tour of the landscape of contemporary media and the digital age. You can read it profitably just on that level, as brief explorations into the development of some of the major institutions and networks that now shape our days. If you've read a bit of history of Google or Facebook, some of it won't be that new, but the stories are well told.
Much of it is new, at least to me. I had no idea that perhaps the largest database of personal information in the world is located in Conway, Arkansas! Acxiom was utilized after 9/11 to find information about the terrorists who flew the planes. They know pretty much everything about you. Seriously.
My two take-aways. First, it's worth knowing that the web is now personalized to you, personally. When you do a Google search for "Lutheran Confessions" from your computer, you will get a different set of results than, say, a person sitting at a desktop computer in a small town across the country who holds different political views than yourself. Each search is personalized based on 59 or so pieces of data about your geographical and social location, including what kind of browser you use, what your past search history was like, and so on.
Second, one of Eli Parisers most intriguing suggestions is that web designers need to build more "drift" and serendipity into the system, and each of us needs to find our own ways to drift as well. What this means in practice is that, instead of getting your news and information from the four or five web sites you visit each day, you may want to venture out into uncharted territory--international newspapers, new blogs written by people who think very differently from yourself, etc. And those who write algorithms shaping where we go on the web should build some of that serendipity into the programs they write as well.
Somewhat inexplicably, Eli Pariser doesn't point out in his book that you can turn these personalization features off on Google and Facebook. But he is collecting ideas and insights at his web site for the book, so we can all post responses and insights there. In fact, reading the web site, I see he's added information like what I've just mentioned in order to expand on and improve his book. Here's the link: [ ... ] Eli Pariser has written a GREAT book. I recommend it highly.