Context is Everything

Contextualising data with software is making me ponder. Doing this well has got to be the Holy Grail at the moment and I have yet to see someone shout from the rooftops that they have a good algorithm for doing so. If I had sussed it I’d be keeping schtum as well though.

“You’ve taken my remark out of context” is an often heard device used when arguing. By making this challenge you are implying that whomever is challenging your statement fails to understand the fundamentals, making it a powerful form of rebuttal. By taking a piece of data out of context when the user is web browsing or shopping is an opportunity that has been wasted forever. It feels intrusive and annoying and at best is just ignored. Just imagine being able to get it right more often than not. £££

When serving ads or upselling to people by using an offering that is timely, relevant and not intrusive , by accurately contextualising the data you hold, is a very tricky process because there is more than one type of context. Personal, cultural, political, social and so on and so forth. it’s a minefield. Presently this is a practise in it’s infancy and what the end user gets is pretty generic. I don’t think it’ll be that long before we see software trying to address the challenge of determining how to contextualise a piece of data by using one or a combination of the types of context.

Trying to do some research using – what else? – Google I typed in “software for contextualising data and serving ads” and was just presented with Ad’s for ad serving software and “experts” to help you (spend your hard earned I daresay). The interesting thing was the images that lead me further in. The point is that w. Google dominating the search market (65% of all searches apparently) then Google are big influencers of context. Cultural, political, social etc. I know of the famous Do No Evil statement. What about unconscious bias thought?  This is an interesting paper by Christian Fuchs in Fast Capitalism – albeit a bit too Marxist for me it raises some interesting points.

Now that’s got me wondering about something entirely different. Hmm, my brain is aching.

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Google Privacy – Something For Nothing?

I’ve just had my lunch interrupted – I was watching the news on BBC One – shortly after finishing the Heinz post.

Google is being accused of putting its customers – the buyers of AdWords as far as I can work out – before, get this, the consumers. There is then a cut to a vox-pop of a woman saying that she doesn’t want to be sold to etc etc.

Well,  DON’T USE THE FREE SERVICES then. Excuse my yelling, but really. All these Google products that Google has very cleverly made so useful and appealing are free. Yes, free. It’s a VAT number and not a charity number.

How do these people think that Google pays for all the free services they supply? I am beside myself at the naivety of the consumers, press, Big Brother Watch – another lot wheeled out because of their Orwellian name – and the journalists.

I think that if you need pictures drawn to explain this then perhaps you ought to go and educate yourself as a consumer. If you can read – this blog – then you can educate yourself. Arrrrggghhh

Big smiles and deep breaths. Back to my now cold lunch.

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