My! My! My!.
The web is getting crowded with Me! I’ve got My Yahoo!, My Google, My Gimpsy, My Search Results, My API, My Ask.com, My Desktop, My Etc, etc.
I’m a big fan if me, but I can only handle so much of “My”self.
Web personalization is big and getting bigger. The only problem (for me, at least) is that I don’t much care for it. Sure, its supposed to help deliver personalized results for this or that, or its smart enough to “learn” as it goes, so whatever it is that I want is better targeted for me. But frankly, I just don’t want it. If I want something I know how and where to get it. I don’t want my details, likes, dislikes, preferences or pet peeves stored somewhere to “help” me find what I want.
In the past week Google and Yahoo have rolled out My Search History (or whatever each of them calls it.) You’ve got to sign in, of course, and from then on your search history is tracked, logged and probably analyzed. Why? I live on the Internet and I breath search engines, but do I really need Google to remember what I searched last month, or last year? So far I can’t think of a reason.
You know those browser features that remember the last URLs you typed in? I have those turned off. Browser history? Off. Automatic Password memory and fill in? Off. (I do use RoboForm to remember all my passwords and fill in forms for me. Great tool, can’t live without it.) Everywhere I go it seems I have to sign up. I’ll live with that as long as it must be done to get the job done, but I rarely do it electively.
Part of my problem is that I’m a control freak. If I’m getting something delivered to me “customized” behind the scenes, I want to know what I would have gotten otherwise. Sometimes I don’t know what I want and therefore can’t image a computer knows me better. After rating over 1500 movies in Netflix, it still can’t accurately predict what movies I’d like to see or how I would rate them.
The idea of Google remembering every search I’ve ever made, no thanks. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe that will change for me down the road. But for now I’m happy just being me.