What do Google, Facebook and others think is relevant for you?

Personalization seems to be all the rage even on the internet, but it can mean that on the first page of Google, the results provided are those which it (Google) thinks you want to see. This is largely based on the the sort of sites that you have opened before. So when two people entered the word “Egypt” more or less at the same time, one got information about the political situation the other person had no information about the political situation but plenty of travel related information. So what was received was skewed to their apparent interests – fine, but this may not give us what we need, since the balance of relevance and importance can be lost.  Eli Pariser’s short talk is thought provoking and well worth while if you have the bandwidth for a short video talk.

When I tried putting “Egypt” into Google 20th May 14.06 hrs UK Time, there were 11 posts on travel, 1 wikipedia, and 3 on news/ political situation. As an experiment: What do you find?

Jean Shaw with thanks to Dr Shamprasad M. Pujar, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research through the Knowledge Brokers’ Forum for bringing this to our attention.


About jgreigshaw

I work with Partnerships in Health Information which promotes partnership between libraries in Africa and the UK with an emphasis in African leadership. I have visited Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Zambia though Phi has contacts in many more African countries.
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