The Beginnings of Lifelogging

A Wired Campus blog entry by Scott Carlson sparked my interest. Firstly it introduced a new word, lifelogging, which refers to the concept of recording all computer, audio and video activity in your life for posterity.

However the concept was not new as I had covered it in my DotWikIE paper at AusWeb last year (see my previous blog entry), and the high profile MyLifeBits project at Microsoft Research. I  have adapted DotwikIE to record all text that appears in my clipboard both at work and at home. I now have a clipboard text collection of several months and hope to find time to analyse the data to determine its value. It certainly keeps a fairly accurate personal record of computer activity.

I haven’t gone to the lengths of tying a digital audio recorder round my neck as Scott Carlson describes. On the other hand I have started using a more intimate visual activity recorder called TimeSnapper. The classic version of TimeSnapper is free and I have found it more than adequate so far. At a time interval of your choice, I now use 2 minutes, it takes either a screen dump or the current active window dump. A playback feature then shows a movie of all your images over a day, and generates an activity line so you can see all the time periods you have been active at you machine. TimeSnapper is intended for filling out time sheets but I find it useful to provide a record of which projects and activities I have managed to undertake each day.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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