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Web Personalization: Powerful Information Tool or Filter Bubble?


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Presented on April 18, 2013 for Technology On Your Own Terms faculty/staff advancement series, The University of Scranton, Scranton, PA
Description: Like. Share. +1. Subscribe. Unsubscribe. These are just some of the actions we perform on the Web as we interact with information. Generally speaking, we do these things to make sense of the vast amount of information available to us. What is less widely known is that the information we see on the Web is shaped by more than just these deliberate actions we take. For instance, your search engine may know in what country you are located, and it may use this information to deliver search results it deems relevant to your interests based on this information. This process is called Web personalization. In this presentation, attendees will receive a basic overview of Web personalization, how it is different from customization, and the role it plays in determining what information we encounter on the Web. Common examples of how we participate in Web personalization (knowingly and unknowingly) will be demonstrated, and critiques of this technology will be presented.

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Web Personalization: Powerful Information Tool or Filter Bubble?

  1. 1. Web Personalization:Powerful Information Toolor Filter Bubble? Donna Witek Public Services Librarian Weinberg Memorial Library April 18, 2013
  2. 2. Personalization... Where everybody knows your name.
  3. 3. Personalization and Customization• Vendor-initiated vs. user-initiated• adaptivity vs. adaptability• passive vs. activeTypes of algorithm o content-based • user-profiles o collaborative/hybrid • rules-based • recommendations o social-based o demographic/context-based o knowledge-based
  4. 4. Google (Ads were at the bottom of the page.)
  5. 5. Facebook (No two News Feeds are alike!)
  6. 6. Amazon, Netflix, and Pandora(Shopping/entertainment = recommendations/ratings)
  7. 7. Image by Toothpaste for Dinner (10/06/11)
  8. 8. "The new generation of Internet filters looks at the things you seem tolike--the actual things youve done, or the things people like you like--and tries to extrapolate. They are prediction engines, constantlycreating and refining a theory of who you are and what youll do andwant next. Together, these engines create a unique universe ofinformation for each of us--what Ive come to call a filter bubble--which fundamentally alters the way we encounter ideas andinformation." --Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble, p. 9 Image from The Telegraph
  9. 9. Thank youQuestions or comments?Donna