Trapped in an online filter bubble?

Michael (MJ) AllenMichael J. (MJ) Allen
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Dec 10
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Recently using behavioural intelligence and look-a-like profiling to lead an online Display program, I found it reminiscent of a recent TED talk show I saw by Eli Pariser: Beware online filter bubbles.

What strikes me about Eli’s presentation is the timing of this video, and how I realized I’m part of those influencing this filter bubble.

The strategy I employed accessed the unique power and intelligence of building and online behavioural, look-a-like- and content profiling  data sets for audience discovery and modelling in a Display program to build reach with a matching audience profile…and drive them down the funnel through selective re-targeting. The result of this created of one of those filtered bubble for the audience that was at the basis of the strategy.

You see, audience targeting was founded upon the build-up of data sets containing the ideal profile of the prospect we wanted to target in the strategy. This was performed through the harvesting of data-sets that showed audience insights such as user interest, behaviours and intent from tracking their online behaviour across the web.

As a result of the deep dive into audience ‘stalking’ as I call it, profiles were built across  users activities, interests and behaviours. This contributed to a filter bubble creation of those users who were exposed to the online ads, and who demonstrated the characteristics of the data collected from converting online prospect and customer.

Yes, the strategy was successful with very promising CPA’s and ROI, but the end result imprisoned these users such as yourself into the content category bubble I wanted you in.

So overall, it was good for me, good for the clients brand, but potentially bad for you as the end user.

Why is it bad? The corridor theme of services my client brands solicits, are now tagged to your profile, and the content you search for may now be filtered everywhere you go and slanted to the brand. The content you’re exposed to throughout the web stretches across Search, news and potentially your favourite media outlets.

This is bad for you as it can cause to filter out all the other important, valuable and interesting information and knowledge you may have discovered if it were not for the case of trying to tailor the content. And here I am putting content in front of you that I think you want to see that tries to match your personal tastes…thus excluding you from potential bias, better or comparative content or solutions.

That is the unintended consequence. You get trapped in a filter bubble and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden your world view, or in the case of business the comparable options of solutions or services that can help remedy your needs.

Watch the TED talk video of Eli Pariser who covers a more depth and insight into the filter bubble.


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