your.flowingdata (YFD) is a way to collect data about yourself and your surroundingsÂ via Twitter. Record what you eat, when you go to sleep, how much television you watch, smoke (me), t-shirts you wear or anything else you want.
This is how you get going on YFD:
1. Follow @yfd on Twitter, YFD will quickly follow you back.
2. Sign in to your.flowingdata with Twitter.
3. Once you’re logged in to YFD, you’ll see a link to aÂ quick start guide. Follow the step-by-step directions and you’ll be tweeting data in no time.
There are four types of data you can use.
â€¢ Categorical – If you’re interested in the occurrence of the same action with different units e.g. ate corn
â€¢ Event – If the point of interest is when something happens e.g. goodnight or pooped
â€¢Â Counter – If you’re mostly interested in total times you’ve done something e.g. smoked 5 cigarettes
â€¢Â Measurement – If you want to see the trend over time of some value e.g. weigh 160 or blood-pressure 170
You enter the data by sending a direct message to @yfd in the following form:
d yfd weigh 160
d yfd exercised arms
d yfd watched Back to the Future
d yfd played xbox at 20:00
d yfd goodnight at 11pm
Once you’ve started tweeting data, it’ll take about two minutes (usually less) for your data to appear on YFD.
YFD is not too dissimilar from daytum.com which now also includes twitter commands or even the unforgettable moodstats from 2003 we wrote about before. YFD is new and as it can be expected there are still a number of oddities that need addressing. For example graphs show number of entries rather than items and one could argue that it is not particularly useful to visualize all your data at once but rather each type by itself or selectively items that may relate to one another. Â I found twitter input very quick and easy but there is also something to be said about not being able to input data directly on the site. This is especially the case when you want to enter data for yesterday which means having to do it on twitter first and then go to the action log and edit the date.
It is important to note that YFD is still in development and I am confident Nathan will continue to bring awesome features to the site. I would personally like to see xml out as well as being able to automate some of the input data. For example it would be great to track when you tweet by simply loading an RSS feed into YFD. This also applies to your blog or services like dopplr to track your travel events. Another great feature would be reports you can publish, share. The possibilities are endless and Nathan is the right person for the job. Having run flowingdata.com blog since 2007, Nathan knows data and what it means collecting it. Whilst YFD what you see today is the first stab at recording data, rest assured there is much more to come.
Sign up today and have fun capturing your life in data!
Posted on: 21/07/2009
Posted in: WebApp