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Your Data is Your Story
Less "data" on the podcast? Think again.
Your data. What does that mean to you?
How about your story? What does that mean to you?
What if I told you that in the internet era, your data and your story are practically the same thing. If we can change the frame of reference from “your data is being taken from you and used against you,” to something like “your story is being taken from you and used against you,” would the movement toward user data ownership be expedited?
Recently, I decided I wanted to put that question to the test.
Back in February, we mixed up our format a bit on the TIKI Talk podcast. My friends Alex Giampapa and Liam McGurk were in Tennessee for some comedy shows they were performing at, and it seemed like an absolute no-brainer to have them on the podcast. They do a podcast themselves called The Actual News, we have a good set-up and equipment at the office.
Alex started with his own podcast and Mike and I chimed in a bit, and then we segued into the TIKI Talk portion of the recording. Alex and Liam talked about being potentially shadowbanned on YouTube for talking about controversial topics, being given strikes by YouTube for rules violations without being informed of which part of their segments broke the rules, and the general helplessness they felt as independent creators faced with a diminishing audience due to circumstances they didn’t fully understand.
It was a great change of pace from our usual format with Mike and I talking as experts and shed light into real situations that are happening to real people.
Alex and Liam were telling us their story, and it made for a great conversation.
Afterward, I knew I wanted to branch out more. More guests. More stories. The potential seemed endless, especially after an epiphany I had following a podcast with Molly Martin, a musician currently living in Nashville. The “story” theme started clicking more in my head.
I realized that as someone who is immersed in data privacy on a daily basis, the way I visualize data may be completely different than most people who aren’t thinking about data constantly.
To me, my data is my story. It is a representation of what I have done, what has happened to me, and in many ways, who I am as a person. My data, contextualized, would almost assuredly paint a more accurate picture of my habits than if I were to try to describe myself. That’s why I’m so protective of my data. It’s a representation of me, and I don’t want to give that away to the highest bidder without knowing how they’re using it and for what purposes.
This doesn’t mean we’re ever going to stop talking about data in the traditional sense. Nor does it mean I’m going to stop doing episodes with just Mike.
We’re just trying to change the association of what “data” means to people so that hopefully “user data ownership” becomes a common phrase sooner rather than later.
So here goes. Let’s see how this plays out.
Your data is your story. You choose who gets to hear it.