Boggled by Botched Personalization
The forklift was the wakeup call, the image that proved my world is better personalized than I realized.
Until yesterday, I thought the rudimentary personalization I routinely encounter mattered little to my experience. Sites I often visit always show me products I wouldn’t wear, articles I don’t want to read, items I would never buy. Personalization, at its best, is none too good. It has a long way to go to have much impact.
Yesterday I discovered that my expectations for personalization are ingrained and fairly demanding. The top news in my reader – 4 items I assumed were selected for me– included…a forklift repair manual. And an article in, I think, Vietnamese. I immediately closed the reader, convinced that there was a grave error somewhere in software. I gave my iPad a vigorous shake in hopes the problem would resolve. Nope. Still the forklift, still the indecipherable.
My confidence in the newsreader, a recent acquisition, was shaken to the core. Even if I was getting the 4 top stories for the world, or for my location, or among my friends, in what scenario would a forklift repair manual qualify? Belonging to a forklift technician’s association? Wouldn’t they be reading about football? My puzzlement may endure for years.
Today is much more relevant: an article in Vietnamese, an article about mouth herpes, and an article about signs. I do have a mouth, and I often read signs. I feel slightly reassured. I am developing an interest now in Southeast Asia, and look forward to unreadable articles from Cambodia.