Apr 5, 2013

Beware the Data Kraken



Earlier this week, I posted an article about how businesses (successful businesses) would soon be using data mining to not just stay ahead of other companies, but to simply survive in our rapidly evolving business climate.  I expected the "cyber algorithms" to pick it up and send me promotions for CRM services, home brewing, or more western wear (all things I discussed).  Instead, I received promotions that both surprised and shocked me.

First, it is important to understand how this story starts.

One morning last week, on the way to dropping my six-year old son at school, he and I had a great conversation about something educational, as we typically try to do.  He was super excited to discuss a topic he had learned about in school recently.

Colossal squids.

I was impressed with his knowledge, and I even learned a few things.  Did you know that giant squids have eyes the size of beach balls and a huge beak??  Actually kind of frightening, right?

What was more frightening was the post that appeared on my Facebook feed when I first logged in later that morning:

Now, I did not post anything online, make any inquiries on Google, or even utter the phrase "squid" after I dropped him off.  So how did the Facebook "data miners" manage to select such a random promotion for me?

Coincidence?  Maybe, and while I'm not inclined to believe in the supernatural, I really have to question the relevance and timing of this particular post.

Actually kind of frightening, right?

I will continue to be a fan of data mining and targeted marketing ... but Facebook has got to get out of my head!  Do you hear me?  Facebook?