Record your life with Twitter

Jul 22, 2009 | Mobile & Web


A little while ago I wrote about one of my favorite yearly productions, ‘The Feltron’ report by Nicholas Felton. Essentially a meticulous record of his year that he creates a beautiful visualization and shares with the world.

His site Daytum allows you to do catalog your life in a similar way but I found the data entry somewhat tedious and laborious so didn’t really follow through with it.

Enter a similar concept to Feltons but designed around using Twitter as the primary data collection mechanism. The basic idea is that with relatively little effort you can record anything you care to (your weight, what you eat, how often you buy a loved one a gift with lolligift ;-), etc) and see the culmination of your life in a dashboard view as show above.

The different data types include:

  • Categorical – If you’re interested in the occurrence of the same action with different units e.g. ate corn
  • Event – If the point of interest is when something happens e.g. goodnight or pooped
  • Counter – If you’re mostly interested in total times you’ve done something e.g. smoked 5 cigarettes
  • Measurement – If you want to see the trend over time of some value e.g. weigh 160 or blood-pressure 170

and the mechanism is as simple as connecting your account to yfd and using your phone to twitter a message such as :

d yfd drank 2 water

and this:

d yfd drank 1 coke


The foresight in using twitter as the common data entry mechanism was a really smart idea and I can see this being used for everything from personal to community activities. You could create a  ‘biggest loser’ competition and rally your co-workers to twitter whenever they shed a pound. You could see how many cokes have been consumed around the world in a day. The options are limitless and there’s a lot of potential for brands and consumers to connect around seeing how their actions aggregate over time.



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