Self-Tracking is great, but when the results are shared with others, it can add more value. The Quantified Self community really appreciates published research/experiment lifelogging projects. Like the Feltron report for example which is now also in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Self-motivation & habit formation are some of the benefits of making the data available to others. On the other hand, people who view the data can also learn so much. Here is my analysis from both the sides.
For the creator the data and its visualisation
When others view this data, they provide feedback. This helps us improve the experiment with external insight. A third person perspective is very important as it spots out the points we may have overlooked and also give us valuable advice. There is also the possibility of meeting a fellow quantified selfer who has done the same experiment or a similar one. They can guide us about what mistakes we could be doing or we may come across. This is the adds great value as we won’t need to learn the hard way.
You get a chance to let others know of your journey through it and lets be honest, everyone loves doing that. This also encourages us to stick to the steps we take to improve ourselves. This gives us a chance to express ourselves and let others know of the reason why you took this up. Apart from self-motivation it helps us improve our story-telling skills.
Sharing data is a truly unique way of expressing ourselves. This gives others the chance to read your story (like your inspirations, your hacks & other little details).
Displaying your idea can give others ideas too and help them. We all know of how good a feeling helping others gives us.
From the reader’s point of view
It allows people to view the data and compare it with their own lives. This gives the viewer a general idea of how they are doing. It motivates the readers to perform similar Quantified Self tracking projects. It would help in providing both sides a way to compare their data.
This also helps in giving the viewer a new perspective on their life and lets them think with a more open view. These Quantified Self visual projects can spark new ideas amongst the readers. It also allows the viewers to go through very detailed information. It makes it easier for the viewer to adapt this tracking project to their own life.
A very interesting report, which proved this aspect was a self-tracking exploration on Crying by Robin Weis. It is quite an exceptional report about the number of times she cried in a day. She made a very detailed report about all of it and this struck with many readers. It became quite popular and got a lot of feedback from the QS community. This is something that helped her become more comfortable with crying. This post inspired me on how she opened up to the world and vented it out which really helped in bringing mental peace. Many people now can set out on similar experiments with an idea on how to log the data, visualise it and then write about it.
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