There are two sides to the coin of digital analytics.
I think that the idea of someone watching me as I scroll through Instagram or as I search something in Google is a little unnerving. The fact that all my personal preferences, and data are being collected and then sold to companies is kind of crazy.
But however, I do continue to use my social media platforms even with that knowledge. And I really enjoy the fact that I can do all that free of charge.
With the introduction of Google Analytics to my website, and by using it, I am able to be on the other side of that coin. I get to see who comes to my website, how they get there, how long they stay, and so much more. On the other side of the coin, I am collecting (on a small scale) people’s data for my benefit. I use analytics because I want to get more traffic here on my website.
I have been learning about this concept in a lot of my classes lately, and it has been very interesting to see how social media (and other) companies collect and then sell my data to advertising companies.
Part of it worries me. That I am seen as a commodity, being targeted and analyzed constantly.
Now that I am on the other side of the coin, I can see why it is necessary, and very helpful. This is such a new concept that has never really been experienced or observed very much since it is so brand new.
Part of it is perfect. The fact that I receive ads just based off my preferences and what I like makes things easier.
Now, as a content creator, I like to see the data and preferences of my viewers so that I can more fully cater to their wants. However, as a viewer I have mixed feelings. I kind of don’t like it that these companies have my information without my consent. But I do like it when I see something that I like, or something that I am interested in.
Though there are two sides to this coin, it is not all black and white, there is so much gray area in which we as content creators and viewers reside.
For now, I will continue to use social media and willingly offer up my data, and on the flip side, I will continue using analytics to see what I can do to make my website the best it can be.