Data, data everywhere.

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The folks at know that, "What we do online increasingly represents who we are." The issues of ownership and privacy are daunting, especially when dealing with data like health-care history, but that is a short term problem. Privacy will have to be figured out because here is no holding back the flood of personal data. Companies want it too badly. The real question is, once we have it, what will we do with our personal information?

The problem is we are all essentially illiterate in terms of personal informatics. Pioneers like Feltron are trying to make sense of what has gone beyond info-overload, but it still doesn't seem very actionable. The prophetic types at iA Japan are predicting an "infolution" that will take us into web 3.0, but they don't say what that will mean in people's everyday lives.

Similar to the way that social networks like twitter and dopplr let us channelize and streamline communication online, we will need the tools to help us understand our personal and social information so that it can be useful to us, not just to Google and Amazon. Visualizations are an obvious (and cool) first step, and the infrastructure is being built, but real tools are the future.

Got any good ones?

UPDATE: I just found a highly related link here, with some google account data horror stories to boot.


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