This Is How Much the Internet Knows About You

Email a Friend
An email service tells you how to personalize your emails to people based on their online data.

To introduce our new name — Note to Self — we've decided to bring you an episode that is about exactly that: the self.

We found a service that takes the "personalization trend"  think uncanny Facebook ads, targeted email campaigns, and that pair of shoes you Googled once that follows you from sidebar to sidebar  up a notch. Crystal Knows claims that it can use such knowledge to improve that dreaded time suck: email.

Here's how it works: The app creates a digital profile on you through data it scrapes about you from the web, then filters what it finds through an algorithm. That algorithm sorts you into one of 64 personality types. Then, for anyone signed up for the service, it will act like an email writing coach and therapist rolled into one, from big picture advice ("Be interesting!") to smaller-seeming details ("Say 'Hi' instead of 'Hello'), giving tips based on what it knows about you. 

We were intrigued. To be quite honest, we were also a little freaked out about how much it can divine from public data alone. So, this week, we did some digging into how these kinds of profiles are made  listen above for that  and some testing on a few of our favorite public radio... personalities.

In this episode of Note to Self:

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Music Playlist

  1. Vacation to Paraguay Instrumental

    Label: BWN
  2. Fifteen

    Artist: Erick Anderson
    Label: BWN
  3. Private Detective

    Artist: Cullen Fitzpatrick, ASCAP
    Label: BWN Music
  4. Lady Parts

    Artist: Jack Ventimiglia
    Label: BWN
  5. Serial Crusha

    Artist: Rubycon
    Label: Rubycon Music
  6. CGI Snake

    Artist: Chris Zabriskie
    Label: BWN
  7. Casiotone Waltz

    Artist: Nic Bommarito
  8. Hook, Line and Sinker

    Artist: Jack Ventimiglia
    Label: BWN Music