Exporting Your Brain | Digital Lifestyle Aggregators

A few years ago I started posting short posts to my weblog about TV is was watching and comics I was reading and other things of that nature. It was an experiment to keep track of more things that I was doing. I did it for maybe a month or so, before I realized that that probably wasn’t the best way to keep track of it. Time passed and I tried keeping track of things in text files, that work for a while, but wasn’t always handy when I needed it. I tried doing some hand written journals for a while. That was good, but wasn’t great for searching or using that data without digging through pages of stuff.

A few months ago after ready Erik Benson on Using Bloglines to manage my online presence with the results showing up here. I got a renewed interest in this. I’ve seen it called Personal Aggregators, Digital Life Aggregates, Personal Plants and things of that nature.

I’m always looking for more ideas on the subject. I started page on my wiki, simply called LifeAggregator to keep up with what I was doing and what I found. Currently I’m tracking the following information using WordPress, a patched together Magpie and PHP script and some cron jobs. This isn’t 100% automated as I do have to enter some of the data manually, but thats OK. Currently here is all the information that I’m tracking and I have plans to add other sources of information.

Personal
[x] My Blog
– Delicious
– Flikr
[x] My Twiki
[x] My Gallery
[x] My Email
[x] Netflix
[x] Amazon Wish List
[X] Think Geek Wish List
[X] Todays Plays from iTunes, using the iScrobbler RSS feed.
[X] Ta-Da Lists
[X] BackPack
[X] 43 Things
[X] Books – AllConsuming
[X] Magzines, TV, Comics, Movies, Misc Video,Incoming (new stuff) – all done manually.
[X] Spurl – I don’t actually use this often.
Work Related
[x] workTwiki
[x] CVS

Its a lot of fun for me to pull up this information every few days to see what I was up to.

This morning I have hit on quite a few very interesting posts related to this sort of information.

Phil Wilson – I’m trying to subscribe to your brain. Is going into a direction using FOAF to list more information and extract more information about a persons activities.

Lost Boy – Subscribe to my Brain. He is taking a slightly different approach using FOAF and creating an OPML from it. He even as a Subscribe to my brain tag to use. Some good thoughts there and I’ll probably be updating my FOAF file (which isn’t working at the moment) to include some more items similar to his.

jo’s development journal – externalising absolutely everything. Discusses a set of logging scripts that externalises “everything”. I’ve downloaded this and will look through them soon.

John Resig – Life As RSS. “My masterplan: Essentially, an RSS aggregator (makes sense, nothing special) that pulls all of my personal RSS feeds into one place and provides an overall statistical view of the information that it contains.” Similar to my plan, I can pick up a few tips from the things he has done and follow along as he does more.

Louche Cannon – I want to subscribe to your brain. Talks about subscribing to all this information, possibly this kicked off a few of the others to think about it.

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