Analytics (Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.) is a very valuable tool for building your audience. For content creators, knowing how your reader behaves on your website can help enormously with developing the best content, posting at the right time, and developing the appropriate engagement strategies. On the flip side, for the reader or user, it can be tiresome and even worrisome knowing you are providing data trails every where you go online.
I find it easy to get mesmerized by the analytics of the people viewing my content. My first exposure to this side of being a content creator was a couple years ago when instagram provided its users with the analytics of their following (age range, gender, etc.). As a content creator it’s nice to have access to this information, as I find it helps to know your audience so that you can provide them with the best content you can.
A few weeks ago I installed google analytics on my site. I’m still figuring out everything that it tracks, but what I have particularly liked knowing is how far my website has reached. According to google analytics people in Canada, the United States, American Samoa, and France have visited my site.
Another important piece of information I received is that of those who look at my site 70% of them access it from their desktop. This is beneficial to know as I will now focus my attention on how my site looks on desktop versus the mobile.
I am both a content creator and a content consumer. I benefit from the likes of app tracking, but when I find myself on the other side of the data it’s hard to know if the benefits outweigh the costs. Apps monetize the digital breadcrumbs users leave through their use of media platforms. In the article Digital Breadcrumbs: the digital trail we leave behind us they talked about how media consumers play a hand in their data being used from their use of location tags and the usage of contactless cards. Companies pay for this data as it helps them know how their targeted demographic lives their lives.
It’s frightening how much information these companies can get about a person. Through this data collection they can find out “each shopper’s consumer behaviour, demographics, home address, occupation, estimated salary, as well as the websites they visit are all recorded” (Digital breadcrumbs, 2016, para. 56). I don’t like how much information is collected about individuals through the use of apps. I think it’s sad that this is the cost of getting apps for free.
Digital breadcrumbs: the data trail we leave behind us – Pod Academy. (2016b, June 28). Pod Academy. http://podacademy.org/podcasts/digital-breadcrumbs-our-data-trail/