The Daily Me is a term popularized by MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte to describe a virtual daily newspaper customized for an individual's tastes. Negroponte discusses it in his 1995 book, Being Digital, referencing a project under way at the media lab, Fishwrap. Designed by Pascal Chesnais and Walter Bender and implemented by media lab students, the system allowed a greater deal of customization than commercially available systems in 1997.
In 2005, Eduardo Hauser, a Venezuelan entrepreneur based in Florida, founded DailyMe, Inc., and developed a proprietary, patent-pending application to create personalized newspapers and have them automatically delivered to each user's printer, fax machine, or computer.
In Steven Johnson's book Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software concerning emergent properties, Johnson addresses some of Negroponte's fears with homeostasis and feedback systems in mind. He argues that a newspaper tailored to the tastes of a person on a given day will lead to too much positive feedback in that direction, and people's choices for one day would permanently affect their viewings for the rest of their lives. Since the book's release, in 2001, many customer-oriented websites, such as Amazon.com and Half.com, regularly utilize a customer's past views and purchases to determine what merchandise they believe will entice the customer's interest.
The term has also been associated with the phenomenon of individuals customizing and personalizing their news feeds, resulting in their being exposed only to content they are already inclined to agree with. The Daily Me can thus be a critical component of the "echo chamber" effect, defined in an article in Salon by David Weinberger as "those Internet spaces where like-minded people listen only to those people who already agree with them."
Cass Sunstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago, analyzes the implications of the Daily Me in his book Republic.com. Daily me and echo chambers have been suggested as one of the extremes of society induced by technology, the other being Tyranny of the majority.
Zite is a popular application that is similar to the Daily Me concept. It is available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. FeedSavvy.com is a similar service available on the web for PC and Mac users.
- Harper, Christopher (April 1997). "The Daily Me". American Journalism Review.
- Hapgood, Fred (November 1995). "The Media Lab at 10". Wired (3.11).
- Weinberger, David (20 February 2004). "Is there an echo in here?". Salon.com.
- Massa, Paolo; Avesani, Paolo (2007). "Trust metrics on controversial users: balancing between tyranny of the majority and echo chambers". International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems (IJSWIS) (Special Issue on Semantics of People and Culture).