Melody Kramer

The Autobiography Of Melody Joy Kramer

13 Mar 2015

I worked in a rare books library during college. People came into the library to pore over documents. Most of the time, they were writing a paper or an biography and needed primary documents to piece together someone’s life.

How could we write one of those now, without relying on any correspondence whatsoever? How could you could track me for an entire day?

Let’s start with the easiest and work our way up.

  1. Where have I been? (Google Location History) (Instagram Location Endpoint) (Foursquare Location Endpoint) (WAZE) (Photos from the Department of Homeland Security) (E-Z Pass Data) (Uber) (Car2Go/ZipCar) (bike-sharing)

  2. What was I reading? (Pocket history) (Chrome history) (Instapaper history) (Kindle history: did you stop reading [ie stop turning pages] at certain parts, highlight passages)

  3. What event(s) did I attend? (Eventbrite history) (Ticketmaster database) (FB events)

  4. What were my thoughts on X? (social media)

  5. Was I hot or cold? Was at home or at the office? (Nest data) (Hue data)

  6. Did I purchase anything? (Credit card data) (Square data) (Amazon history)

  7. When was I likely commuting? (Twitter data - when was I not posting, correlated with Metro data)

  8. Was I where I said I was? (Instagram EXIF Location endpoint data - related: this AP story)

  9. Was I on a job interview or giving a speech? (Twitter data: did lots of people from the same company follow me at once?) (Did I have an Out of Office message up?)

What am I missing?

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  • Matt Terenzio asks, “Were you playing a sport or on a merry-go-round?” (Funf)

  • Josh Tauberer says to call this a “Auto-meta(data)-graphy,” which is a term I really like.

  • Sue Diaz says “What were you wearing (tracking sensor data from wearables.) Did you check anything out of a library? (If we could access that data) Park in a parking garage? Feed a meter? Use satellite radio? (You were on metro today but if you drive)

  • Melanie Cooper writes, “How was my health? What was I eating? How much did I weigh? How well did I sleep? How active was I? data points:(myfitnesspal,Jawbone UP,FitBit,Endomondo, Period Calendar/Tracker app)

What was I watching? data points: (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Hulu, YouTube, Redbox. Similar to Kindle, did you pause, rewind, or stop watching at certain points)

What was my mood? datapoints: (Period Calendar/Tracker app, Facebook emoticon, MoodPanda, weather app)

What was I listening to? datapoints: (pandora history, google music, spotify, itunes, youtube music)

What were my interests? datapoints: (google app reviews history, who you follow on social media, pinterest boards)

What were my accomplishments? (linkedin?)

  • Abbott Katz says “purchase receipts, which, unlike credit card entries, are time-stamped, sometimes to the second.”

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