Eyebrowse: A Collaborative Web Browsing Tool Under Development at MIT
From MIT News:
Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a new system that allows Web users to share self-selected aspects of their online activity with their friends and the general public. The hope is to give users themselves, as well as academics and other scientists conducting research in the public interest, access to the same type of browsing data that big Web companies currently collect and mine to better target products to individual consumers.
[Researchers] describe the new system, which they’ve dubbed Eyebrowse, in a paper presented last week at the Association for Computing Machinery’s conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, in San Francisco. The paper also describes the results of a survey of potential end users, which helped guide the system’s design, and of a field trial of the system. The findings suggest that Web users could, indeed, find it worth their while to share data about their online activities.
Eyebrowse currently consists of two components: a website and an extension to Google’s Chrome Web browser. Installing the extension involves two mouse clicks and takes seconds. Thereafter, anytime the user visits a Web page, clicking the Eyebrowse icon on the browser task bar will pull down a window offering an array of features.
One is the opportunity to add the site’s domain name to the user’s “whitelist.” As long as the Eyebrowse extension is turned on, the system will record the user’s visits to pages on whitelisted sites. But the pull-down window also features a switch for turning Eyebrowse off, for private browsing. (The Eyebrowse icon, an open eye, “closes” when the system is off.) Similarly, it offers a button for reporting visits to sites not on the whitelist.
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PREPRINT of Paper Presented at Conference: Opportunities and Challenges Around a Tool for Social and Public Web Activity Tracking (via Amy X. Zhang’s Web Page)
by Amy X. Zhang, Joshua Blum, David Karger. Demo Paper. CSCW ’16.
Demo PDFReimagining Web Activity Tracking for Social Applications
by Amy X. Zhang, Joshua Blum, David Karger. Everyday Surveillance Workshop @ CHI ’16.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.