One of the down sides of social media is that we have control over the connections we make. We tend to select sources that fit our own biases and while we assume the inputs we process are making us more knowledgeable, we may simply be becoming more entrenched in flawed positions.
I have summarized the comments of others on this topic in previous posts (e.g., Keen) and proposed that we all force ourselves to read different positions before we consider ourselves informed (e.g., Bauerlein). I still like the mental image of simultaneously watching Fox and CNN news.
I cannot remember exactly how I came by this resource, but I recently visited Political Compass and completed the instrument supposedly designed to reveal my political “leanings”. The concluding representation was pretty much how I would describe myself without going through the process. A bit of a liberal supporting individual choice. Still, not that far off center. Hence, this blog originates from such a perspective.
Maybe all bloggers should provide such information on “personal perspectives”.
I do think it a concern if online services could connect such data (and responses to individual items) with any individual. I am willing to share, but the instruments asks some specific questions in order to arrive at this more global representation. As a university affiliated researcher, I know the safe guards institutions require before they will let a research collect data. The Political Compass claims that no personal data are retained (no login is required, but an IP could potentially be stored), but does warn that a Facebook app collecting similar data does not offer the same assurance.