The Museum of Me? But where’s the ‘wow’?

As yet another integrated Facebook app (see previous post on EQUALS) does the viral rounds and floods my news feed with posts via friends, I am once again left uninspired and disappointed by the under-utilised potential of a product that no doubt cost a fortune yet fails to deliver – where’s the ‘wow’ factor?!

Intel’s Museum of Me application promises to generate a whole exhibition all about ‘me’ based on my Facebook data. In the increasingly narcissistic world (that being the most common complaint I hear about Facebook and the new generation of people living life in the public eye online) such self-adoration is bound to be an instant online success but what users really get for their engagement is low on ROI.

Considering that you are essentially opening up your Facebook account and all its layers and promises of privacy and security in one click your investment is pretty high. There’s no clarity on what they’ll do with the data they pull nor if they store it or simply access it one-off – after all who really reads the T&Cs in any detail? The thought of what they could do with my data sends a shiver down my spine…

Yet the promise of creating a visual archive of my social life and finding out just what I do on Facebook, what I write about and who on earth are the people I most talk about seems to pull me (and many others in). Surely I couldn’t just remember these points…I must have some quantitative data to analyse this all I think to myself…

What I actually get is something that is not only hard to interact with, lacking in clarity, seemingly random but also incomplete and leaves me quite frankly feeling mugged. Once you’ve figured out how it all works – which for someone used to online environments wasn’t all that clear – then you’ve clicked that almighty button to ‘allow’ access to all your Facebook jewels you are presented with a small, scrolling ‘visualisation’ of your data that is not only hard to see (increasing the zoom level failed to help) but also seemed incorrect (I hardly ever interact with those people!) and apparently the most common word on my wall is ‘day’…how insightful. You can however share all this ‘glory’ on your Facebook page by posting it in a photo album, which I did in the hope that I could more closely study the grainy images of my self-titled exhibition but to little avail.

The potential of this product is huge, using Facebook data to generate visually exciting infographics or images offers great return to the user but so often these products seem to fail on their use.

I suppose the creators will deem it a success due to its viral spread and number of ‘likes’ (hitting half a million as I write) that meet their objectives but what is the real impact of these applications hitting our screens and pulling in our data?

If we’re so keen to find out more about ‘me, myself and I’ then why don’t we turn to some self-help books rather than yet another online application? Needless to say as an avid social media fan I’ll keep clicking away until I find that ‘wow’ factor…

What do you think about the Museum of Me? Have I missed something? Let me know your thoughts below.

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