Quantified Self Show & Tell 05/22/2011

From HacDC Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

We'll meet at 6, schmooze a while, and start presentations around 7.


Xaq Rothman: Tracking smoking with CigLog, a webapp I wrote.

Bjorn Westergard: Dietary logging with Cron-O-Meter, journaling with tiddlywiki, carrying a gps logger, DIY pulse-oximeter.

Erica Kane: Using a Bodybugg to monitor calorie burn, and to confirm or deny common beliefs about weight loss.

Elephant Ninja: Using the sticker method to track and improve pull-ups.

Matthew Velderman: A total fitness tracking system, including key metrics, the system itself, and outcomes so far. Fitness Tracking Spreadsheet and DMAIC Fitness Presentation

Blue of hello-the-future.net: Every week I sit down with my guitar and make a new song for the internet. In my presentation, we'll hear just how fast a musician can level up in a year.

Daniel Gartenberg: Proactive Sleep, a mobile self-tracking tool.


What do you track/quantify with?

Here is an informal/incomplete list of the tools people use that we collected on the whiteboard.




Xaq presented CigLog, a home-brewed cigarette-habit-tracking PHP/MySQL webapp. He talked about the value of social support in trying to create (keep tracking!) or destroy (stop smoking!) habits.

Xaq's Links

The Science of Self Control This book is required reading for anyone interested in how habits are formed and extinguished, and the paradox of self control... why is is hard to do things that are good for us (ok, me), and so easy to do things that are bad?


Bjorn described working with data from UAVs, which led him to wonder how he could benefit from similar data analysis on his self. He presented an impressive array of projects: GPS logging, using a web notebook to keep track of his thoughts, and a DIY pulse/oximeter (which I, Xaq, saw in prototypical form this past Monday and dang was it cool).

Bjorn's Links

TiddlySpace or TiddlyWiki "discoursive non-linear web notebooks" SIMILE Timeline - Potential visualization tool for GPS data?

Bjorn metioned a few articles:


Erica talked about her experience with the Bodybugg, a fitness device that tracks steps and calories. She explained some principles of weight loss, showed some photos and graphs of her results, and talked about some common ideas about weight loss and whether her experience confirmed or debunked those ideas.

Erica's slides

Elephant Ninja (aka Robert)

Mr. Ninja told us how the disturbing motivational power of video game achievement systems inspired him to implement a similar, low-tech system to help him improve his pull-ups.

Elephant Ninja's Links

Elephant Ninja's slides http://endomondo.com - android app - GPS tracking - good for running & biking http://exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html - the exercise prescription - web-resource for muscles and exercises


Matthew talked about using engineering principles in the realm of self improvement.

Matthew's slides


Blue told the story of her project to learn guitar the right way - by playing songs and posting them on YouTube as Hello, the Future! She played two songs, one from the beginning of the project, and one from the end, to show her progression.

Blue's links

Hello, the Future! - Blue's blog The Songs of the Fifty States - This video cuts between Blue playing the same song at weeks 1 and 52 of her project.


Daniel presented his mobile app, ProactiveSleep, which allows the user to track several habits and see correlations between them. He talked about lowering the cost of tracking, and the need for (and seeming lack of) statistcal analysis in self-quantification.

Daniel's Links

Proactive Sleep - Daniel's app Daniel's slides are too big for the HacDC wiki to handle...maybe he'll send a compressed copy...