Posts Tagged 'visualisation'

Reading Daytum’s fine print

It being the start of a new year I’m currently overdosing on optimism when it comes to all my various side projects (exercise, writing, everything else I always run out of time for). So I decided it would be a good time to start keeping track of how well I was managing to keep up with things.

And that’s when I stumbled on Daytum – an online service that lets you track your data simply and easily. I’m mainly accessing this through their iPhone app, which is nicely designed but a little on the flaky side.

Daytum iPhone app interface

Daytum iPhone app interface

But what’s really intrigued me about Daytum is their business model. The service is free to try, but the catch is this – any data that you submit is publically viewable, until you sign up as a paid user. In other words, you pay for privacy.

I leapt straight in and started using the app without checking any of this out of course, so I was a bit shocked when I started seeing some of my own entries scrolling up the Daytum homepage. I went looking for the “switch off broadcast” preference, and that’s how I found out about their payment model. Paying for privacy.

Daytum itself is a nice enough service, especially for people (like me) who drool over things like the Feltron Annual Reports (no surprises that the designer of same is one of the co-creators of the app), but I’m not sure I want to fork out for the service – especially as the iPhone app has routinely lost a few of my entries and doesn’t seem capable of handling decimal points. With a bit more polish the app could be quite sweet, but for now I guess random site visitors can see how much I weigh or whatever.

The good news is that I’m finding tracking my progress definitely helps me get more of those side projects happening. Recommended if you’re looking to do the same. And if you stumble on any other good data tracking apps, would be great to hear about them.

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Other people

Screen capture of theyrule.net

Screen capture of theyrule.net

I’ve been digging around some background research for an upcoming presentation, and stumbled back across one of my favourite links – Josh On’s theyrule (www.theyrule.net). Dating back to 2004, it’s a data visualisation of the boards of directors of American companies. It’s the best example I’ve found of how visualising data can change the way we comprehend information. As a list, it would be meaningless. But interactive – you get a new sense of the meaning of the information.

I saw Josh present at a conference in Sydney a few years back. He said something then that stuck with me: The most interesting thing about the internet is other people.

Smart guy.