Category: Me and My Web Shadow

Data exhaust trails

Another useful insight from Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think:  

A term of art has emerged to describe the digital trail that people leave in their wake: “data exhaust”. it refers to data that is shed as a byproduct of people’s actions and movements in the world. For the Internet, it describes users’ online interactions: where they click, how long they look at  apage, where the mouse-cursor hovers, what they type, and more. Many companies design their systems so that they can harvest data exhaust and recycle it, to improve an existing service or to develop new ones. Google is the undisputed leader. 

As datafication continues, our data exhaust trails get larger: cameras and other sensors, carried by people and installed in .

Cisco’s Chief Futurist says shops’ CCTV will become the equivalent of web analytics to examine how shoppers are making their choices and allowing shops to optimise their layouts and even their offers in realtime… 

As video pixel counts increase, retailers will use video surveillance to hone in on shoppers with new levels of precision, determining demographic traits like, age, sex, and more. In-store activities can also be monitored with video, including display effectiveness, customer traffic patterns, and aisle dwell time. All of this data can be assessed in real time to adjust store operations dynamically. For example, the number of open registers could be increased based on an the number of shoppers in the store; heat maps will show which aisles attract the most traffic; and object detection can figure out which items shoppers are interacting with most.

This trend is at once exciting from a business and data strategy point of view and concerning from a personal point of view. How can we manage our web shadows when we aren’t even sure what data we are leaving behind us? 

Hoax-busting: Self-correcting Twitter streams

Is crap-detection, as Howard Rheingold calls it, something Twitter’s crowd is increasing doing for itself? 

Mike Orcutt, writing on MIT Technology Review thinks it may be:

Around 9 PM Eastern last night, my Twitter feed lit up with messages from respected journalists and bloggers declaring that NBC News had projected Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren the winner of the closely-watched Senate race in Massachusetts, in which she was running against Republican Scott Brown. That’s funny, I thought. I had been watching NBC News, and I couldn’t recall the anchors announcing Warren as the winner.

During Hurricane Sandy, one user was the source of several potentially dangerous false rumors. A message claiming the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange was flooded by three feet of water fooled even CNN and the Weather Channel.
However, that night, like last night, skeptical Twitter users helped the network self-correct fairly quickly.

Web shadows: Twitter learning tasks

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The most post popular posts relating to Me and My Web Shadow has long been “Some Beginner’s Guides to Twitter“.

This post from Beth Kanter is nice addition to those introductory guides, sharing some exercises from a Colorado non-profit‘s team Twitter learning sessions.

Read the full post at Me and My Web Shadow