Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stephen Colbert, Identity and User 16006693

Stephen Colbert had a hilarious piece on tonight's Colbert Report regarding protecting identity while searching (he suggests typing with your weaker hand, to disguise your typing patterns), in response to the AOL debacle (if you haven't heard, they released about 3 months of search histories comprising of some 20 million searches...but don't worry, they replaced people's usernames with random numbers...so we are safe, right?)
Not exactly. Paul Boutin used splunkd.com to parse the heck out of the data - and arrived at seven patterns of searchers. According to him, according to the data - people fall into one of seven searcher categories: the pornhound, the manhunter (looks up a persons name again and again), the shopper, the obsessive (the person who searches for the same thing incessantly), the omnivore (the person who searches like crazy, and doesn't really have a pattern), the newbie and the basketcase.

The most interesting way that I found to look at the data is to pick out a specific user. It's damn interesting, comical, and scary as to how much insight you might get. Take a look at User 16006693 go from politics, to retirement, to politics, to religion, to sex, quickly back to religion (repent!), to food and finally to heartburn. Classic.

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16006693 his bullies
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16006693 george bush great president
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16006693 like crawford tx but not so hot
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16006693 rice and beans
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16006693 heart burn
16006693 heartburn

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1 comment:

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