Revisiting data porn: your digital footprint in real life

Ever notice how, ever since you ordered that discount kitty litter online,  you’ve been seeing cat food ads popping up on other unrelated sites you visit? That’s happening because you’re being stalked by marketers. In fact, just reading this post here on The Ethical Nag tells me that you are leaving your digital footprint, right now, at this very moment. That’s the warning from Evan Dashevsky, writing in PC World:

“Your personal information is considered a very hot commodity among people you have never even met.”  

Others, like software entrepreneur Dave Sifry, have called this phenomenon data porn. Continue reading

Why 74% of smartphone apps are dropped by the 10th use

“If you build it, they will come.”  That seems to be the mantra of the tech startups that are churning out health tracking apps for our phones. But aside from the worried well of the Quantified Self movement, will Real Live Patients actually use these apps to improve health outcomes? That’s what Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) wanted to find out when they surveyed about 400 smartphone owners to evaluate the likelihood of patient adherence.*

What we know so far is that we tend to exhibit a bit of a kid-in-a-candy-store initial infatuation with new and sparkly things.  Continue reading

“Fewer numbers, more life experiences”

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“I’ve been putting in the effort not to be absorbed by things that don’t improve my daily happiness.”

Kate’s attitude may not make any sense to the self-absorbed who genuinely believe in “self-knowledge through numbers”, as the folks in the Quantified Self movement do.

But after spending two years tracking every single daily calorie and another year weighing herself every day, the author of This Is Not A Diet, It’s my Life wrote in her blog post called Life After Numbers:

“It’s no secret I have changed my mind about some things.  I have moved away from numbers and data and onto a more holistic, experience-based approach.  Continue reading