Maybe it’s just us, but it feels like most of the cases when the Wall Street Journal does a big story on the web, it’s to darkly warn us about the nefarious consequences of sharing information online.
For a change, the WSJ’s Digits blog has a pretty cool post up by Outreach Editor Zach Seward where he tracks his social media use and what it teaches him about himself.
Highlights include his Foursquare history and mapping it to online census data, using Mint to track his spending, Last.fm to track his music listening habits and Google for his search history (surprisingly, there’s seasonal variation!).
Seward correctly points out that many of the things we use social media to do, like personal finance, are much older than the web — the web simply makes it all efficient. And he also points out that the reason this data is available is because we opt in to sharing it, and that this brings benefits.
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