Monthly Archives: July 2013

Supercookies… nom, nom, nom

After this week’s reading I’m left thinking about what doesn’t use data tracking. It would probably be a shorter list than what does track data.

I’ve only worked for two companies and both I’ve started prior to the Facebook craze. I’ve never heard of a potential employer asking for login information. If I were ever in that position, it would make me question the company as one I probably don’t want to work for. I’m really surprised that companies felt they could do this. I guess they can because they’ve not found a precise law that says they can’t.

It’s nice to see government officials and state lawmakers are putting together bills to prevent this. Some might be surprised that Facebook is all for privacy but it makes sense to me. Allowing employers to be granted Facebook login information will keep people from utilizing Facebook and that isn’t something Facebook wants.

When the Instagram privacy policy changes first came out, I read a few articles about what it meant but it wasn’t enough to take action on my part. I sided with those that didn’t agree that it was right, but since it hadn’t affected me personally yet I wanted to continue using the app that I love.

Did anyone you delete your Instagram account when it released its privacy policy changes?

When it comes to tracking data in someone’s heart, I think that’s pretty cool. What isn’t cool is that the people that have this device implanted in them don’t have access to the data. The companies are looking for ways to profit of the data but they won’t spend the money to develop a system to share the data with those that need it the most, the patients.

Wow don’t supercookies sound yummy. Wrong. It’s just another device created to gather data without someone knowing what is being gathered. The bad side of the supercookie is that it’s been made to not be able to be removed easily. That’s where it crosses the line for me.

When you’re online do you think of all the ways your data is being tracked and shared?


Big and Scary Data

Big data can be a little confusing and a lot scary. I had a hard time understanding all of this week’s readings but there were points in each that I could grasp and so I will talk about those key areas.

The statistics that are given for what big data is now and for what it will be in 2020 are mind blowing. Each person in the year 2020 will represent 5200GB per person. I work with MBs and GBs pretty regularly, so I understand how big that really is.

It was nice to see that user created and consumed content currently represents the majority of big data with 60%. It leaves me wondering what the other 40% is and my guess is the data companies are collecting about us. It was even stated in the article that the amount of information we create about ourselves is far less than the amount of information being created about us. When I think about all the data that is out there about me, I wonder about the size of my file.

Another scary part of big data is the amount of unprotected data out there. Companies that are making profiles of people might not be doing their due diligence when it comes to keeping that information safe. While security technology will only get better, hackers will continue to keep up with the pace.

The article from McKinsey & Company gave a lot of generalizations of how big data could be used successfully but I didn’t understand many. I wish they would’ve given examples to help put their ideas into context. The one area that stood out to me was how employers could better track their employees. It would be beneficial for companies to track social media usage at work to see how it hinders productivity.

The one thing big data is dependent on is talent to successfully manage and analyze the data. When it comes to big data and the LPGA, there’s an area where we could benefit from tracking and analyzing big data. One a weekly basis at our tournaments we collect all sorts of stats about our players playing golf. We have a way to store the data and present it online in very simple forms. What we don’t have is a way to analyze it and compare it against other data to show some cool statistics to our fans and our players about their performance. That final piece of the puzzle takes employee resources and a large budget and we’re just not there yet.


–          Do your employers track your internet usages? Do they allow you to visit social media sites while on the company network?

–          Do you know of a way your company uses big data it collects or another company collects and they purchase?

Eye tracking

This week’s reading on the Facebook graph search is very timely. I was just given access to the graph search on my Facebook page. While I haven’t found a good use for it yet, I think the research that was done with eye tracking is very accurate.

The heat map was a great way to show the amount of views each area received. It also made a lot of sense that images weren’t a great focal point like the text. If someone is searching for stuff on Facebook, the large image isn’t really necessary in a sense. The reading gave a great example about searching for local restaurants. The image isn’t a necessary part of the search. It made sense that participants eyes focused on the first few text areas as well as the right rail that contained a map.

I tried doing a search for LPGA in the graph search and other than being taken to the fan page, I wasn’t having much luck finding results. For this type of brand page, I’m not sure how much the graph search will have an impact. For local businesses, I can clearly see the use. The reading said that things like “Likes”, users sharing content etc. play a part in the search order listing. Do you think Facebook will start selling this top space like Google has?

Eye tracking is a very valuable tool and I really enjoyed reading the New Poynter research. This type of information is of extreme value to people who work in the digital space. It broke down how tablet users interact with news and where their eyes are drawn. This is all good information for someone like me who is in charge of our tablet website and iPad app.

I was pleased to hear that people prefer horizontal viewing on tablets and that the carousel version for presenting news was the most popular choice. We just launched new versions of our tablet website and iPad app and they both work very well in the horizontal position. They also utilize a scrolling news carousel to display news. Another tidbit that was helpful was that people got the most use out of a back button instead of a menu item. I might need to look more at our apps to see if a back button is prevalent compared to our menu navigation. For those of you who use tablets, did you find this research comparable to how you view your tablet and news?

This week’s readings have left me wanting a company to perform eye tracking research on the LPGA’s website and mobile devices. We’d most likely not have a budget for this type of thing, but a girl can dream. I will just have to do some more research on what other companies have found. Or maybe this is something we could crowdsource.

Just a face in the crowd

People come up with ingenious ideas everyday around the world. It makes perfect sense to utilize the internet as a way to find those people and share ideas.  Companies can reduce their costs of having more employees to come up with all the ideas. They can turn to crowdsourcing to get an outsiders perspective at a much cheaper rate.

Our reading titled Rise of Crowdsourcing was a great introduction, as it detailed four sectors of crowdsourcing. They showed ways media can find photo and video content without paying a higher price for professionals. Companies like Procter & Gamble have extended their network of researchers to 1.5 million through external networks.

It is sad what crowdsourcing is doing to professional photographers who used to make more money on stock images. Their financial future is being affected by amateurs who cost a whole lot less. For companies it makes sense though. They can now complete projects they might not have been able to prior because the price of stock photographer can be bought much cheaper.

Through our readings and lecture this week, there has been a lot of talk about how crowdsourcing can change the world. Our reading titled Jamming for a Smarter Planet further reinforces this idea. The statistic presented that for 72 hours more than 2000 individuals from 40 countries “jammed” on key issues having to do with saving the planet. There are a lot of T shaped people in this world, so finding ways to bring them together to collaborate can only be a good thing.

Some are questioning crowdsourcing and the ability for regular people to come up with ideas that are better than a company’s researchers. Our last reading titled Value of Crowdsourcing touched on an idea generation contest to see how user ideas compared to internal company ideas. As the article went on I found myself cheering for the users. Why wouldn’t they compare? I loved the outcome that user ideas outperformed professional ideas in certain areas. It makes perfect sense that people who deal with a product a lot might have an idea on how to improve it or come up with an idea where that product might be lacking.

Questions to answer:

–          Is there a way the company you work for could crowdsource?

–          If you were able to participate in Jamming for a Smarter Planet, would you?

–          Do you have a hobby or talent that you could use in the crowdsourcing arena?