I always thought of myself as a control freak, Type A, self-aware (flaws and all) person but then I attended the Quantified Self Conference last week in San Francisco.
There is so much more one can do to learn about one’s self. The possibilities are endless on what I can quantify (measure about myself) and there are so many people capturing many surprising things.
Quantified Self, if you haven’t heard, is “a collaboration of users and tool makers who share an interest in self knowledge through self-tracking,” as described by by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly. I’ve also been an admirer of Nicholas Felton, who has beautiful visualizations of his data.
The two-day conference consisted of morning and afternoon plenary sessions, and in between, the day is filled with ten-minute talks on the main stage (where practitioners share their own QS work, tools, and personal data), with breakout sessions for group discussions and office hours for hands-on help happening concurrently. There were plenty of topics for a newbie QS-er like me or a longtime enthusiast.
My conference experience in numbers:
- 4 plenary session talks
- 30 session talks
- 1 breakout session on “The Quantified Self at Work”
Videos and presentations should be posted in the coming weeks but until then, here is a summary of from Gary Wolf.
Beyond the numbers, I was surprised, inspired and learned a few lessons. It is amazing what quantified self-ers are capturing, the extent and effort they take, and their life changing impacts. There is plenty of fitness, diet, and health tracking happening, but others are tracking things such as:
The list goes on but this sampling gives you a sense of the range of self tracking.
While lots of recording was being done with commonly available sensors, devices, and apps, there was a lot of data being recorded manually through pen-paper journals and spreadsheets.
There are endless measures (and many low and high tech tools) but recording is not the end goal. The measures help inform our goals and the actions to achieve those goals. There were several talks about the importance of self-tracking to understand your numbers, your similarities and your differences to population normals.
In “Beyond Normal: A Conversation,” Dawn Nafus (@dawnnafus) and Anne Wright (@annerwright) discussed the importance of self-tracking to gain awareness on whether the standards, baselines, and conventions apply to you. Population normals are a good starting point but they shouldn’t define your target as you are unique and the normals may not be right for you (#resistemplotment).
My takeaway, don’t worry about getting the perfect device or tool. Start with finding a goal or change that is important to you. Record, measure, and analyze – glean insights that move you along to being your best self. It is not about the Q but the S.Possibly Related Posts:
- QS15: Measurement with Meaning
- Vote for Sessions Launches
- The Really Smart Phone
- Find Me at Collaborate
- Google I/O Sessions Live
A busy June is half over now, but we still have miles to go before July.
We’ve been busy, which you know if you read here. Raymond went to Boston. Tony, Thao (@thaobnguyen), Ben and I were in Las Vegas at OHUG 15. John and Thao were in Minneapolis the week before that. Oh, and Anthony was at Google I/O.
The globetrotting continues this week, as John and Anthony (@anthonyslai) are in the UK giving a workshop on Visualizations at the OUAB meeting. Plus, Thao and Ben are attending the QS15 conference in San Francisco.
You can do it now, I’ll wait.
Back? Good check out the sweet infographic Tony C. on our team created for the big Hunt:
Coincidentally, one of the tasks is to attend our OAUX session on Tuesday at 2pm, “Smart Things All Around.” Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), our GVP, and Noel will talk about the Scavenger Hunt, IoT, new experiences, design philosophies, all that good stuff.
Speaking of philosophies, VoX has a post on glance-scan-commit the design philosophy that informs our research and development, and more importantly, how glance-scan-commit trickles into product. You should read it.
And finally, Ultan (@ultan) and Mark collaborated on a post about partners, APIs, PaaS and IoT that you should also read, if only so you can drop a PaaS4SaaS into your next conversation.
If you’re attending any of these upcoming events, say hi to us, and look for updates here.Possibly Related Posts:
- Jeremy and Noel Talk IoT at Kscope15
- Magical Links for a Tuesday in December
- Lots of OAUX Updates
- Kscope15 Scavenger Hunt
- The Week That Was Kscope15