This piece from Forbe’s CIO Central predicts self-tracking as the next big
thing after social networks:
…I contend that, what’s unveiling under our eyes is probably one of the most transformative changes of our civilization. You can argue that the rise of social networks can be interpreted as our people’s need for more attention. However, the willingness that newer generations have to keep track of daily activities and report about them to their community of friends, coupled with the advance in self-tracking technology, creates a perfect storm for a new wave of social data
In their wonderful book (“Your Life, Uploaded”) Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell walk us through the techniques they have used to collect their own data. Bell and Gemmel encourage readers to engage in life-logging (as opposed to life-blogging, which you can witness on sites like Facebook or Foursquare). You must read this book if you want to understand the history of personal data and get a glimpse of what the future has in store for us. This work reminds us that, beyond sharing experiences as they happen, in very transactional ways (“I’m having coffee at Jody’s”), we should realize that our daily activities amount to a large number of data points, which in isolation might appear meaningless but in aggregate could inform us better about our lives.