The Likes Project

Identifying ones tastes can be dizzying in the mass media landscape of liked and favourited content. This project intends to shine a light onto how this personal data could be used to generate insights.

This post is part of an ongoing series.

External Profile

Recently, more sites and services have propped up that publicly profile users by their likes.

The University of Cambridge’s ‘Apply Magic Sauce’ analyses ones Facebook Likes. From this it identified my education as being focused predominantly in Engineering and Psychology. Secondary to that was Art, IT & Business.

Apply Magic Sauce - Profiled Education

I actually thought Art would be more predominant from likes, but I suppose it makes sense in hindsight since most of the art I like is interactive and often grounded in engineering.

Google also tries to predict your interests through your use of their services. I was profiled like so: Google Interests Profile The mention of Sports (Extreme, Skate, General) seemed odd to me as I’m not that into sports (though this probably has popped up due to me watching a few on youtube). ‘Water & Marine Sciences’ is also an odd addition - I can’t imagine how Google profiled me with that interest.

Also, weirdly enough. Even with all my information, Youtube can’t seem to suggest videos I’d like to watch when I want to watch them. I have better luck signed out.

For future mining and historical record, I’ve also started to record my ‘likes’ more adamantly in one location. They are currently tweeted (either automatically when I like a youtube/vimeo video, or manually) at @Hastebuds. Playing with CSS Columns, here’s a moodboard-like capture of that feed:

Hastebuds Moodboard

It should be noted though that my profiles are usually more accurate than others as I publicly like items with the intention of having them profiled and historically recorded.