Monthly Archives: August 2012

This week in lifelogging: personal analytics for Facebook and how not to measure happiness

Personal analytics for Facebook

Wolfram Alpha is not only a hyper intelligent search engine. As of this week, it also offers a tool for analyzing your Facebook account. All you have to do to take power of the data your Facebook account stores (and triggers) is to pop over to the Wolfram Alpha website and type in “facebook report”.

I think Lifehacker summarizes the feel of it: “incredibly interesting, super geeky, and downright scary.”

What do you think?

This is what a Facebook Report look like, if you’re Stephen Wolfram, founder of Wolfram Alpha:

Wolfram Alpha’s founder Stephen Wolfram’s own Facebook Report

Evertale pivot – new focus on friends’ collaborative photo albums

As much as we liked Evertale’s previous mission – to syndicate all your digital footprints in a nice looking stream – I’m curious to start using their new app that was released this week. The new iPhone app, still named Evertale, helps you gather photos taken with your friends when you were together, into one private album. The problem this solves is one we’re all to familiar with: you’re at a party or on vacation with your closest friends and even though everyone is snapping photos you end up with only the ones where you are behind the camera…

Congratulations to Sam and the team at Evertale for a nicely done pivot and good luck with the new app!

(By the way, that first mission – the syndicate-your-digital-footprints one – is being nicely solved by Memolane, another great lifelogging service. Recommended.)

How not to measure happiness

The personal analytics experimental blog Measured Me has found a serious flaw in most happiness analytics: you don’t measure your present time happiness (typically varying from day to day) but your overall satisfaction with your life (typically the same over time).

“Happiness” when actaully measuring overall satisfaction

“Happiness” when weighing in more parameters

An introduction to lifelogging as of today

I’d like to sum up with a link to a plain, but smart and very well-written, blog post by Gareth Spence who’s with the blog Technically Speaking. The post is basically a description of lifelogging’s position today, based on Gareth’s own experiences. Go check it out: The Personal Data Logging Explosion.


All for now, have a great weekend!

Guest post: I, Cyborg

“A cyborg, short for ‘cybernetic organism,’ is a being with both biological and artificial (e.g. electronic, mechanical or robotic) enhancements.” - from the Wikipedia entry for cyborg.

My name is Micke Kazarnowicz, and I’m a cyborg.

I’ve always wanted to be one, since the first time Robert Heinlein made me aware of them. What I hadn’t realized is that I already am one, albeit a crude version of what I will be in the future.

Chances are, that right now you are thinking “Cyborg? How horrible. I don’t want that. He can’t want that either, he’s just attempting to make a point for dramaturgy.”

I’m not trying to be dramatic. Nor am I talking about becoming the “Terminator” or “Darth Vader” kind of cyborg. I don’t want to become less human. I want to become more capable.

The brain and body have limitations. My brain can store a huge amount of data, but things are bound to be forgotten; like the name of the awesome Japanese restaurant in New York I ate at in March, or what the weather really was like during that first week of April. I know exactly how much fuel my rental car used up when I drove from Stockholm down to my parents and then back up again three weeks ago, but I don’t know how much energy my body uses when I run 10K. Likewise, I could see exactly how many kilometers that car had traveled, but I have no idea how many steps I’ve taken so far this year, or how far I’ve travelled so far in my life.

This is changing. I now have ‘electronic enhancements’ — some of which actually are attached to me — that help me overcome these limitations.

I know that the Japanese restaurant was called Matsuri and that I was there on Saturday, March 17 at 10 pm. Fact is, I can tell you the names of almost every restaurant I’ve eaten at since November, 2009.

I know that my last run of 10K took me 48:11 or 4’48″ per kilometer, and that the energy spent on that run was 946 kcal. I know it was hot, 32°C (90°F) and humid. I know that my heart beat 7081 times during that run.

I know that so far this year, I have walked more than the distance between New York and Dallas (some 1560 miles or 3,120,929 steps) and I have climbed almost twice the cruising altitude of a 747 (my total is 7,177 floors). I know that I’ve travelled at least the equivalent 27 laps around the world since August 2010, when I got the cyborg part that constantly records my position.

All this knowledge is made possible using cyborg parts that help me log, record and measure my life and my body. The parts are my Fitbit, which I always keep in my right pocket and which records and displays steps walked and stairs climbed. My Nike Fuelband, which I rarely take off my right arm (except for to charge it) and that shows me how far I walk each day and makes sure that I get enough daily exercise even on the days I don’t work out. My Polar FT80, a heart rate monitor that when calibrated measures my energy outtake and my heart rate during exercise with great accuracy. And above all, my iPhone with its camera and apps like Foursquare and Google Latitude that help me log my life so I can recall where I was and when.

All these cyborg parts have one thing in common: they require very little managing. They are turned on, and then work silently in the background, monitoring, recording, analyzing. Others, like Foursquare or the Polar FT80 require a taps or pressing of buttons. My electronical parts allow me to understand my biological parts better, and they provide a storage for all this data in my extended memory: the cloud.

Some of these parts might as well be integrated in my body, considering how rarely they leave my arm or pocket, and that they sync wirelessly. Others require some evolution before they’re there; like my iPhone that still requires me to take it out of my pocket to snap a photo or read output. There’s lots of room for more seamless integration, for example automatically snapping photos of my day or projecting the text from my boyfriend directly in my field of vision. And it’s coming, quickly.

I’m looking forward to when technology is integrated, not only in my clothes but in my body. I’ll gladly insert a chip or have a tattoo allowing me to interface more seamlessly with electronical units, or even other cyborgs. It might seem like a long way there, but let me remind you that most of the mainstream cyborg parts I’m talking about here did not exist 10 years ago.

It’s a brave new world, and it belongs to us cyborgs.


Micke Kazarnowicz is a digital pundit, a Digital McGyver and he writes about gadgets, social media and related stuff in his blog. He works for tablet publishing company Mag+ and is based in Stockholm and New York.

This week in lifelogging: the medici effect and better brains with butter

Dr Spinn examines the lifelogging trend and “the medici effect”

Jerry Silfwer a.k.a. Dr Spinn (image from

Swedish expat and PR guy Jerry Silfwer, a.k.a Dr Spinn, has a blog where he mostly writes about PR and communication. This week though, we were glad to see a whole long post about lifelogging. He takes a bit of a new approach to the subject: from the perspective of the self-help trend, via lifehacking and gamification, to the emerging market of lifelogging gadgets and the benefits and challenges with it. It’s a recommended read, if you haven’t already! (Not only because he mentions Memoto in the end…)

“It’s called the medici effect, the intersection between different fields of innovation suddenly sparks more innovation and also sparks exciting new adaptation curves. The technology exists, the demand is emerging and now we’re only waiting for the products to fully integrate with our online lives.

Why, you might ask? The answers will surely come. One thing is for sure, what gets measured gets done. And who knows what cross-referencing data-sets and analytics applications will be able to teach us about ourselves?”

Seth Roberts on “the wait-and-see method”

Seth Roberts, a frequent contributer at, also reflects on the reason to why you should log your life and track what you do. More specifically from the scientific(?) approach of “wait and see”, which is a lot reminiscent of the feedback loop. Seth describes how this method has helped him achive a number of insights about himself. For example, number 4 on the list:

“4. Brain function and butter. For years I measured how fast I did arithmetic. One day I was a lot faster than usual. It turned out to be due to butter.”

Butter on bread

Makes you smarter?

(In fact, this butter diet has other advocates on the quantified self arena. @bulletproofexec Dave Asprey published this nice Infograph earlier this week).

Withings wonders at smart glasses

There’ve been a lot of gossips and guesses around Google’s “Project Glass” this summer. With so much rumors in the air, it’s interesting to hear what the guys at Withings, who are truly experienced in the field of lifelogging devices, have to say about it. We’re not going to steal the show here, but let you look for yourself.

One paragraph we find extra interesting though, and it is an area we will get back to in this blog future on:

“There are also still some unresolved issues with Google glasses, as well as any other similar products. For instance, all the privacy concerns that already exist in relation to cell phones or social networks are multiplied ten-fold when discussing a product that will not only stays with you at all times, but sees everything you see.”

Lady Gaga with Google Glasses (image from

Our guess, and hope, is that these kinds of privacy concerns will be solved human to human. Withings’ mentioning of cell phones is appropriate: just like we’ve agreed on turning off the phone in the cinema or in a meeting, there will evolve a social contract on when and when not to wear recording devices. After all, most people don’t want to offend other people around them and will try to adapt to the context. Or what do you think?

Weekly sum-ups FTW!

We’d like to sum up this week’s sum-up with two tips of other useful weekly sum-ups. The first one is RescueTime’s weekly roundup of articles and news on productivity and time management. It’s published on Sundays, which makes it a heartening and invigorative read on Monday morning when productivity is top priority (and strong coffee).


The other one is Evernote’s recurring recap of Evernote’s own blog posts from the week. Could be a bit navel-gazing with a round-up of your own content, if it wasn’t for the productivity (hey, there you go again, RescueTime!) of the blog’s contributors. The Evernote service is not only a need-to-have tool, but the blog is also both entertaining and full of useful tips and tricks. Published on Sundays.


All for now, have a great weekend!

/Oskar, @okalmaru



Our new office in Stockholm

This week our Memoto team in Stockholm finally got the keys to the new office. Hurray !

The office is located at Kungsgatan 73 Stockholm and we loved it from the first moment. We share the office with nice people from Shapeup Club. Welcome to visit us.

Some pics from our place

Stoclholm office
















Work space

Martin and Oskar is creative

// Jenny

If you enjoyed this post, please follow us on twitter and facebook! PS – Have you pre-ordered your Memoto Lifelogging Camera yet?

L.A – Logging Angeles?

Crazy California

So Friday the 4th was our last day in SF – which we realized late Thursday evening.

What? We’re checking out the 4th? But the check-in in L.A is the 5th…

Pause for head scratching

…so we don’t have anywhere to sleep the night between. And we need to get to L.A somehow.

Dutch roommate couple;

“You should take the Greyhound!”

So 9.30pm we got on what was gonna be our combined transport and shelter for the night.

8 hours later, we crossed the finish line and got our reward; The Ritz! (thanks boss)

Don’t think we need more comments on that, we’ll just show you some pics and leave it at that.


But too much luxury is not good for our image so 7am next morning we got in a cab that was gonna take us to the Amtrak station, 5min away according to the Hotel staff…

…35min later we started wonder if we were heading to the right station. Cabdriver assured us we were. Another 10 minutes later he drops us off at a shuttle-bus stop by the airport and tells us to get on a bus, cause that will take us to the Amtrak.


He unloads our luggage and even has the courage to ask for tip. I try to push aside my suppressed anger and bring out my Swedish perliteness to explain that “No sir, I’m afraid you have failed to bring us to the correct destination. Therefor I can not possibly give you tip” And then a Colgate smile for comforting effect.

Well the shuttle bus was wrong as well. We ended up taking the metro all the way back to Down Town (where we came from). And when we finally got on a train to San Diego we had missed our first interview – thank you cab man!

Well, no need to be angry. Maybe he just had a ruff morning. Anyways we changed course to our second meet up; Ernesto Ramirez

This is the guy who has a treadmill where others have computer chairs. But no he’s not running marathons every time he writes an email. He don’t won’t to walk around the office all sweaty. While I’m testing my multitasking skills on the treadmill Ernesto suggest we meet with his colleague Larry Smarr. And what did Larry have to show us? His intestence – in 3D.
And it’s not the movie 3D we’re used to see. He gave me a tour inside his body by grabbing a 3D “stick” and twist and turn the virtual version of his insides. Crazy! I wish we could have filmed it in 3D as well.

Ernesto is one of the organizers of the San Diego QS Meet ups and this year he’s also helping out at the big QS conference in September in San Francisco. We’re kind of hoping for leftover tickets. Since so many of the people we’ve met are coming to the event, we’d really like to go and meet everybody again. Fingers crossed you guys!

The train back from San Diego arrived in L.A around midnight and when we got to the new hostel we were up for a surprise;

Guy in reception

“I can’t seem to find your reservation”

At this point it’s 1am.

“And we have no other rooms available”

We try to explain that we only need somewhere to sleep for 5 hours (and maybe borrow a shower) cause we leave for Taiwan early in the morning.

“Ok, there is one room. We normally don’t allow guests to sleep there but I’m gonna make an exception just this once. Ok? I’m gonna let you sleep in the movie room.

And so we got one sofa each.

/ Amanda

P.s Ville is very confused after the last days intense traveling, currently he’s trying to find himself on google maps.











So San Francisco!

Busy week


Arriving to the hostel (USA Hostels) we were tired and hungry and conveniently, iThai was just across the street. That’s right, we had noodles in an Apple-inspired thairestaurant.

So we’re sitting there eating “Pod Thai”when Gordon Bell calls. Good job Amanda! You just earned 10points to your Fool’s Travelcard! I totally forgot that we rescheduled the interview to one day earlier. I wanted to hit myself in the head with the Go Pro. But Gordon was really nice about it and the moment we stepped in to his apartment I forgot all about my stupidity.

He’s got a pretty neat view that Mr. Bell. In every city we’ve been to and at almost every interview we’ve done his name have come up so it was an honor to finally meet him in person. Interesting facts: Gordon hates paper. He and his friend Jim Gemmel turned it into a project to digitalize every pice of document in Gordon’s possession. Quite some project!


Brian Kerr

The guy lived a life with low self-esteem and bad health. But when his beloved grandma (whom he was very close to) past away he came to a turning point and decided it was time to do something. So he started tracking bits of his day-to-day life in a regular notebook. Thanks to the logging he saw how different things effected him and was able to experiment his way to a healthier lifestyle. I admire the discipline and strength it must take to make that kind of change.
And it doesn’t have to be more complicated than a pen and a notebook. He has one with him during our interview as well.



Took a trip to San Ramon and met the creators behind the fresh started company Trōv. And these guys aren’t just trying to establish a new business, they want to print a new expression. Next time you buy a car you might be asked if you want to “trōv” all the info regarding your purchase. That’s what Scott and Jim are striving towards. And yes this is the same Jim who scanned Gordon Bells paper-life.

They are using the tools of lifelogging to provide a service were you collect all the information about your “physical” fortune (such as your home, cars, art etc) in one place to get a better view and knowledge about them.


We got so inspired when we met Eric and Katie that we decided to create a Memolane for this trip. You can check it out soon, I’ll keep you posted!

On the way back I bought art from a random dude on the street. He said I could lay a bid on it and I still had money left from London, so I gave him 20£

I think he got the winning deal. But I have a nice painting with a fun story to it – so I’m thinking it was worth it.

Great hostel btw, breakfast included and bed lights. It’s all about appreciating the small things.


Google-goodies & Facebook fail

We left early and took the Amtrak to Silicon Valley & Google-land. It seriously felt like we should have brought our passports. The area is huge and people are riding google-bikes. So the first meeting was with Thad Starner; google glass developer and master of multitasking!
I’m not joking. This guy is taking notes and googling me while we’re having a conversation – and I didn’t even notes.

<a href=””>20120816-071611.jpg

We continued on to the Facebook facilities for an interview with Timeline-creator Steven Young.
Well at least we can say we met him…
…and then security and PR-manager came.




Maren Connary

If there is such a thing as Retro-lifeloggers, Maren is certainly one of them. She’s been making scrapbooks since her teens and have a bookshelf filled with aluminum containers that store her entire life. You could say she’s the opposite to Gordon Bell.


Karen Herzog and Richard Sachs

Karen and Richards daughter Sophia was born with an incurable decease and lived for only 4 years. Through her and her parents lifelog she touched and united people all over the world. Thank you Karen & Richard for inviting us to your home. I’ll bring the Sophia’s story with me always.


In a previous post I asked if it still counts as lifelogging if your logging someone else’s life. After this day, I would definitely say it does.

This week in lifelogging: memory science, the Saga app, open API:s and more

A neuroscientist’s view on your memory – Interview by Evernote

Neuroscientist Maureen Ritchey (photo by Evernote)

The team at Evernote got a visit from cognitive neuroscientist Maureen Ritchey and asked her to explain how the human memory really works. For anyone interested in lifelogging and ways of remember more of your everyday life this is definitely a must-read. Ritchey answers the basic question on how our memory works, like how we connect memories with specific people and places, how we can improve our memory and what role context plays in our memory.

Our favorite subject is also covered: how come some memories are easier than others to recall? What is it that make some seemingly uninteresting events get stuck in your head but things you think you ought to remember get lost? (And just as often the other way around). We take the liberty to share Ritchey’s full answer in the interview with Evernote here:

“For a variety of reasons, our brains might strengthen some memories over others. Maybe they triggered an emotional response, maybe they were the precursor to something important, maybe they caught your attention. These memories appear to be consolidated over time, in that their neural trace becomes strengthened and less susceptible to interference from new experiences. Then, when it comes time to remember, these traces can become reactivated more easily than the memories that didn’t get this kind of special treatment.” 

In other words: you don’t know in advance if an event will be easily remembered. Which calls for lifelogging tools that capture as much of our lives as possible, so that we can go back afterwards and find that special event that, all surprisingly, turned out to be life changing. Or is it possible to “prepare” the brain to remember, say, this upcoming Friday night? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the commentary field!

5 reasons to quantify yourself

Withings give us their 5 top reasons for self-tracking. The full list is:

  1. Achieve your health/fitness goals
  2. Track the evolution of a chronic disease
  3. Improve your life
  4. Communicate better with your doctor
  5. Learn what can affect your mood

A pretty good comprehension, we think! Although one could argue if not the number three, “improve your life” is the dominating reason overshadowing the others?

We at Memoto have written a couple of similar posts, “What can be tracked in a lifelog” Part 1 (where health tracking is one reason for lifelogging) and Part 2 (where keeping a journal is an other). We’re thinking of exploring this more. What area do you think we should cover, with respect also to Withings list?

Saga for iPhone tracks your every move

Speaking of remembering the seemingly unimportant (see above) and ways to do so (see also above): Lifehacker tells us about Saga, a new app for iPhone that tracks “everything you do and how you do it”. Too good to be true? (If you’re a lifelogger. Too creepy to be true if your not…). Well, according to Lifehacker who’s been trying it out for some time it seems Saga does have some flaws, which is kind of expected since the app is still in beta, but the more you use it the better it gets. Either way, it’s well worth a try! And after you’ve tried, why don’t you tell us about it in the commentary fields below?

Go to the Lifehacker article for an invite code on the beta version of Saga.


Open API:s and the Quantified Self movement

Ernesto Ramirez, one of the organizers of the Bay Area Quantified Self Meetup and an influential behind, guest blogs at on how important open API:s are for developers to create tools for lifelogging and quantified self. In short: it is very important. This paragraph from Ramirez longer and well-written post summarizes it pretty well:

“Many of the self-experiments that people engage in involve looking into how different data sets are related to each other. Do I sleep better when I go for runs in the morning? How much money do I spend when I check into bars alone or with friends? The more data we have access to the more interesting comparisons we are able to make. In essence, those APIs and their associated data allow the QSer to develop and explore an ever growing world of personal hypotheses.”

In the light of this, it is saddening to note that Twitter, a service and a team long advocating open API:s, are closing and restricting its API. We won’t go into details on that here, but let our friends over at Archify speak for us instead. And don’t forget to sign the petition to keep the Twitter eco system open!


That’s it for this week. Help us find news on lifelogging that we’ve missed: share in the commentary field below!

This week in lifelogging – olympic games special

The olympic games in London are one week old and here at Memoto we’ve been following it intensely. The olympics are one of those periods of time when you know on beforehand that there will be real memorable moments made: historical happenings (alliteration unintended) that you will remember and want to relive again and agin on Youtube videos. Which moment of this weeks’ games do you think will be best remembered?

Our guess:

So what’s been going on in terms of lifelogging and the olympics this week?

Memolane: Crowd-Sourcing the 2012 Olympic Experience

Our friends over at Memolane have a special where you can take part in crowdsourcing the olympics. Just join Memolane and follow “London olympics” to share your stuff!

[memolane id=1]

Withings: Lightning Bolt Pose

Withings holds a contest where you can win a really cool limited edition Withings scale. To win one of the three copies available you upload a photo of yourself doing Usain Bolt’s patented pose (“the lightning pose”) to Withings facebook page.

Mashable: What’s Your Gold Medal Moment?

Mashable shares our interest for the moments and opens up a thread where you can share your most memorable moments from previous olympic games. Mashable also shares a wonderful list of video clips showing 10 unforgettable olympic moments.

Anyone’s got other tips on lifelogging aspects to the olympics? Share in the comment field below!



Our last night in Victoria was also our last night in Canada. We summed up our staying at Ocean Island Inn with Canadian beer at the hostel pub and a lifelogger chat with the bartender and the manager. The closest they’d gotten was keeping track on numbers of beers/night. Well I guess that’s a type of logging.

20120801-151427.jpgSo early (really early) Monday morning we had the shortest flight so far; 20 min to our transit in Seattle. 20min from one country to another. The bus ride from my place to the Memoto office is longer than that! Well, from Seattle to Portland. We had a talk with Bert Krages, Attorney at Law, about the legal aspects of photography and lifelogging. Apparently the lifelogger have the law on his/her side in most situations. The exceptions were the obvious places like public bathrooms, locker rooms, hospitals etc. Witch I believe is totally fare, I certainly wouldn’t want a strangers butt in my timeline. Oh, and Steve Mann; you might want to think twice before visiting Texas, apparently the law is a bit vague when it comes to photography and intensions.


In the cab back to our hostel the cabdriver told us he’s had great use of logging both work and school. He take a bunch of courses online while working full time so by keeping track on his drive hours, income and studying he can distribute his time to be as efficient as possible for desired results. Later we took the bus home to Steven Jonas. He calls himself a self-experimenter and has a program that map everything he’s tracking. Very similar to the TicTrac service. (Steven you should check them out) Among many things, he and his girlfriend tracks and compare their sleep. They each wear a headband every night that measures the different stages of sleep and the data then shows as diagrams in a program (zeo). After the interview Steven offered to drive us back to the hostel and on the way we stopped by the famous Food Carts. Great crêpe, great interviews, great people, great 20h in Portland!

/Amanda P.s Ville’s watching reruns of Conan O’Brian and cannot be reached for comments

Canada part 2

US-custom, a quantified dog and Queen Elisabeth

So transitting is not always as smooth as one would wish.

Next destination was Victoria but to get there we had to leave Canada, go through Chicago and Seattle and then enter Canada again. Messy? Even the US customs were confused. And what is the root to all of our airport problems?

The damn Carnet (the paper of our camera equipment with we have to show in every custom when we enter/leave a new country)

Well, after a lot of questions/explanations, running, more explanations and more running – we made it through customs and to the gate. – And the flight is delayed, there were really no need for the running.

So Dave Asprey invited us to his home, and what a beautiful home! We got to meet his kids, his swedish wife (so weird to hear swedish again) and their quantified dog. Apparently he used to be overweight but thanks to QS and raw meet he’s all better. Probably the first QS-dog I’ve ever met but he seemed like a happy dog. We drank some Bulletproof coffee, I enhanced my concentration level, increased my IQ (at least I’d like to think those few minutes with Dave’s devices made some improvement) and I got a good vibrating work-out. Busy day at Dave’s. Infact, that’s how every day is for him. But he wouldn’t call it busy, he would say efficient. Even if he has a full-time job and all theese sideprojects, he stil have time to hang out with his family and just relax. I wonder if his favourite quote is Carpe Diem?

We had a day off in Victoria (wich usaly equals time for emailing, research and logging) so this day we decided to pretend to be tourists and went to the Royal BC Museum. They had an exhibition on Queen Elisabeth and you could read and see photos from her life up until today. The exhibit continued into the next room with items typical of each decade from the 20th century. Is not this also a form of lifelogging? Does it count if your logging someone elses life?


P.s Ville is asleep and can not be reached for comments