CIU111 Week 5: Data, You, And Your Art

With everything on the internet these days, everything is analysed. From images, to videos, articles and news sections, even social media is used to collect data. Now, before you start panicking, I want to make it clear that it’s not as dramatic as it might sound. It’s all about demographics. Please, let me explain.

In this lecture we discussed how data is used to better understand the consumer environment and further assist in business’s to generate revenue. I understand that some might view this as an invasion of privacy, however data collection is a vital part of the creative industries as it allows companies to have a clearer picture of what the mass public are after, which in turn makes it even more profitable in the long run.

Take Google for example. The worlds most visited site is renowned for its collection of data, and they’re not shy about it. Every time you visit their website, searching for something through their search engine, it instantly makes a note of what your activities are and compares it with the rest of the world. They use this information in order to help promote products that are tied in with their company. There are multiple ways of doing this, but one that always manages to drawn everyone’s attention is advertising. Those annoyingly pesky pop up’s that you get whenever you try to watch a hilarious cat video on Youtube, or when you’re just going through your news feed on Facebook, they will be plastered everywhere you look. This is their plan. Collect all your activities, and try to tease you with other similar things in hopes you’ll unload your pay into their pockets. I myself may have succumb to temptation more than once (but hey, I got a Bearded Beanie out of it, so money well spent, right?).

One gaming company I’d like to highlight with their data collection intrigued me. Telltale Games choose to collect data based on your decisions that you make throughout their games, so by the time you finished the game, you can compare your choices with everyone else. I always find it fascinating to see what I did that was the same and differently from the majority of players. It made me want to play those games again and again just to see what would happen if I went down a different path. I truly loved it, I thrived on it. Talking to many of my friends as well, they seemed to be impressed with this data. This proves that it’s not all invasive. Sometimes, it’s just to have a little fun.

Data collection may seem like it’s invading your privacy, and no I don’t agree with every aspect of it, but I do understand that it’s a vital part of creative media. Without it, it would prove to be difficult to discern what people are looking for. Whether it’s games, movies and television shows, art or music. It allows us to target specific consumers that would be interested in our projects. Though I don’t want to know what every bit of detail about people, I would however like to obtain data based on the consumers I’m looking at targeting for my own projects.

The following embedded video has Kevin Slavin discussing how data is shaping our world.

References

Alexa (2015). Competitive Intelligence: Google.com. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/www.google.com

Dena, C. (2015). Week 5: Data, You, and Your Art. Retrieved from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-5-data-you-and-your-art-f75add99c56b

Google, Public Data. (2015). Public Data. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from http://www.google.com/publicdata/directory

Slavin, K (2011). How Algorithms Shape Our World. Ted. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_slavin_how_algorithms_shape_our_world

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