What Picture Do Algorithms Paint Of You?

I admit it: I love data and extracting stories from them. That’s what I do for a living, though more on the story and trend analysis side. I’m not a hardcore quantitative expert, though I know enough to be dangerous and ask tough questions. Not surprisingly, I pay attention to the metrics for AttentionMax, including the search queries that lead people to my blog. On some days, search drives up to 75 percent of my visitor traffic (not including RSS feeds or email subscriptions). The search terms usually are reflective of something I’ve written, and often they’re hilarious (though somehow still reflective of something I’ve written about in the past). It’s fun to see how algorithms expose certain dimension of me, and inherently paint unique pictures of my profile, by leading people to specific things I’ve expressed. Here are few notable search strings from the past month:

  • “cost to repair brand from bad advertising campaign”
  • “the inventor(s) of tv remote(s)”
  • “window box flowers”
  • “belt buckle”
  • “Graphs and charts about cloned food”
  • “high def porn”
  • “how to get employees to embrace a new customer service department”
  • “swimming directions”
  • “myspace change single in my Marital Status”
  • “how to vote for the best and shut down votefortheworst.com”

Which is your favorite?

UPDATE: I swear, when I wrote this post, I hadn’t yet seen this cover story out the same day in the WSJ, You’re A Nobody Unless Your Name Googles Well.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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