Journal Making Redux

A couple months ago, I mused about using services like foursquare (@foursquare) and GetGlue (@getglue) to document your life, one checkin at a time.

Well, meet two more services that you could include in that list, and these two have higher aspirations for you, RunKeeper (@runkeeper) and Health Month (@healthmonth).

While we’re here, I should also introduce you to another app that has your health in mind, Happy Feet, built by a team of Stanford graduate students, including our very own Anthony (@anthonyslai). Happy Feet recently won the Health Care 2.0 Move Your App! Developer Challenge. Hearty congratulations to Anthony and team. More on that shortly.

OK, so I only know about RunKeeper and Health Month because they have each partnered with foursquare to help drive adoption and promote healthy habits. RunKeeper is an app that tracks your physical activity, and Health Month is a monthly challenge game to help you work toward a variety of goals, including healthy living goals. Connect each to your foursquare account and earn badges for activity.

This post isn’t really about whether either service is any good, but rather, it’s about the trend to document and ideally preserve our activities, whether for ourselves or for greater purposes.

I, for one, think this is a good thing. Even if Twitter (and blogs) tend toward navel-gazing drivel, even if foursquare and Gowalla tend toward mundane checkins and over-sharing, even if RunKeeper and Health Month preserve questionably useful information, what’s the harm?

Unlike the big productions made about projects like time capsules, these everyday data points don’t promise wonderment and amazement. They could prove very useful in later life to you or to your children.

I suspect future generations will also be mildly interested in what we consider mundane. After all, who knows what the people of the time thought of cave paintings?

The comments. Find them.



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