So I should first start by saying that I had no idea I could access that much information on Facebook about myself. I figured that the site would have a lot of my info, but the fact that it is all available so easily is pretty neat (and I guess the way it should be). Downloading all of my history from the site was actually somewhat nostalgic—scrolling through so many past events and points in my life that have been documented on Facebook is actually kind of cool. That is one of the main things I have realized Facebook will be good for in years to come. I don’t think a lot of our generation realizes it, but it is an amazing archive. Imagine showing your kids your own Facebook some day? Tracking back to when you were their age—assuming the site is still up and running and hasn’t fallen to a new competitor. The information that Facebook had on me was pretty predictable. Everything from all of my absurd page likes in 2009, to my most recent link shares and uploaded photos. I don’t see why they would not have a record of all of that information. I would imagine most large websites keep archives of all their information—companies like Amazon probably document purchases, so I can see why Facebook documents its users. I guess the one aspect that represents Web 2.0 in all of its glory is Facebook’s ability to keep track of all of my possible ad pages. The site looks at all of my interests and likes and correlates them to possible advertisements. This is crucial for Facebook’s hunt to earn capital, so I understand why they must do it. Web 2.0 relies on user-generated content, so in a lot of ways the only way to make money for these social networking sites is through advertisements. While we are uncomfortable with the idea that we are targeted by advertisers based on our interests and likes, unfortunately that is the way it has to be. Web 2.0 is definitely a give-take relationship—because we have access to so much free content, companies must make revenue some way.
Google was a bit of a different story. While Google is a huge search engine and has the ability to collect loads of data on its users and their searches, it seemed apparent to me that the information recorded on me was not nearly as vast as that of Facebook’s. I recently created a “Google Plus” account, and I really do not have much content on it—other than the nine friends I will video chat with. Because of this I do not spend a whole lot of time on the account. The new model Google went with in creating that profile kind of seems to mirror Facebook a bit, and because of that I think it might be in the shadow of F.B for a while.
The information recorded on me I think goes to show that I am pretty active in this information age of the digital society. Most of my likes and interests are very public, and because of this your average user (and advertiser) probably has a basic idea of what I like and am most likely to like. The idea does not really bother me at the moment. I understand the layout of Web 2.0 and kind of appreciate the model.