Lifestyle Personal Growth

More personal measures of time

Liked Patrick Rhone (

One day, I hope not to measure my days in minutes or hours, but in miles walked and pages read.

See also: more personal measures of life:

2022 wrapped

Learning Reflection

Why I track my reading

Replied to ‘It’s dopamine’: Why we love to track our watching and reading habits (

Like wellness before it, cultural consumption has become yet another opportunity for us to measure, analyse and optimise our lives using cold, hard data.

Yes, it’s possible to let tracking your reading become a performative thing, but showing off to others is not the only reason to track what you read. There are a lot of reasons I track what I’m reading:

  • To keep track of what I’ve already read — I read a lot, and can’t keep track of what I’ve read and what I enjoyed
  • To be thoughtful about what I’m reading — I try to read books with a wide range of representation and by diverse authors, and if I don’t track what I’m reading, it’s easy to fall into reading mostly white cis male authors because they are published more (and white cis women in the romance world) — I also like to try out new authors, not just read the same ones
  • To diversify my reading — by tracking what I read, it’s easier to look back and see trends so I can switch it up if I’ve been reading the same thing for a while (or choose to continue with intentionality)
  • To pay attention to my mental state — if I’m not reading, there might be something going on
  • To prompt myself to reflect on what I got out of a book by writing a review, and to think more critically about a work — while I’m reading I can get sucked into a story and it’s only when I surface on the other end I start noticing the problems
  • To keep myself honest — I can look back at what I’ve read, and use that to truth what I think I’ve been reading — for example, I say I read a lot of sci-fi, but in review I read as much or more fantasy, and my fantasy TBR is longer
  • To get better at picking books to read — I can compare what I actually read (and what I DNF’d) with my “to read” list, and adjust future book selections based on what I liked or didn’t like
Relationships Websites

Connecting with other readers through our websites

Replied to IndieWeb Pop-Up: Personal Libraries (

Personal Libraries is a IndieWebCamp Pop-ups 2022 session focused on the design and use of personal websites with relation to displaying one’s books online, status updates about reading, and generally talking about books in a Goodreads-like social media manner.

When we log reads and write reviews on our personal websites instead of silos, how can we meet others who’ve read the same books and find out what books our network is reading?

Notes and thoughts from the IndieWeb Pop-Up “Personal Libraries”


Fitbit heart rate exporter

Bookmarked Pulse Watch — Fitbit heart rate data exporter and visualizer by Neil Ricci (

Visualize and export to .csv your Fitbit heart rate data

Fitbit sucks and only lets you download a useless package of JSON files if you want more than one month of data at a time. I wanted to compare my current heart rate data with my old fitbit data from 2016 and 2017, this was easy to change the view and download several months of RHR in CSV format.

Thanks Neil Ricci!


Owning my music data

At Homebrew Website Club on Wednesday, GWG challenged me to explore owning my scrobbles, pointing me to Jan’s implementation (GitHub). I said I listen to way too much music and I’d need to do a separate WordPress install on a subdomain dedicated to tracking listens, so I ruled it out.

Except then I came across ClassicPress and am curious about trying it out.

And I decided to port my playlists from Spotify to Tidal and got correspondingly irritated about walled gardens and data portability and losing the full record of some of my playlists because Tidal doesn’t have rights to some of the songs. And I came across kandr3s’ online playlists where his playlists are recreated in order with links / embeds to play the songs.

So now I’m thinking about it 😂 #idontneedanotherwebsite

Not making any promises…but pondering what my goal would be with the data. Would it be just a backup of that I owned, or would I be able to manipulate the data more than I could there?

Keeping accessible format playlists has some appeal, although potentially a lot of manual work unless I found some way to transform the csv files I downloaded from Exportify into a blog post. The files do include the Spotify URIs for the tracks, albums and artists so I’m sure there’s a way that I’d just have to figure out. Although, I’d want to give more thought to what I would use the playlist for, to make it a useful format.

I feel like there should be a micropub client for listens, really, where you had (later searchable and sortable) fields for track, artist, album, and year the album came out. Something like indiebookclub, except indiemusicclub 😎

Actually, this type of listening library is another type of personal library for me to get ideas about at the upcoming Personal Libraries Pop-Up.

Art and Design Society Writing

Writing Metrics and Capitalism

Replied to Writing Is about the Right Words, not the MOST Words by Lincoln Michel (Counter Craft)

Why are we more comfortable talking about output than art?

Neil Gaiman QTs Scalzi, saying "I wrote Coraline in 50 words a night," in response to Scalzi commenting on a couple people who said he couldn't call himself a full-time writer if he's only working four hours a day, to which he points out that's awesome and also writing is more than typing

Writers are often less comfortable talking about aesthetics than productivity.

I’ve had this feeling about NaNoWriMo for a while, which is why this year I switched to a daily time goal rather than word count. And I didn’t write 50,000 words… but I didn’t need to. What I needed to do was reach the end of my book, which I did. I’ve gotten a lot out of NaNo, including dear friendships, and have nothing to prove anymore.

But I think this is interesting analysis of why it’s proven so successful: it’s easy to measure how much or how long you’ve written. It’s not possible to measure quality. And capitalism drives us towards quantification, towards the tangible.

If people won’t respect your qualitative creativity, maybe they’ll at least respect your quantitative output?

It ties to imposter syndrome, and the fact that honestly IMO it takes about ten years to learn how to tell a story and write a complete work that works, but that’s a long time to feel like you’ve got nothing to show. At least if you have word count that feels real, versus recognizing the shift in your storytelling abilities, learning what writing method works for you, and learning to recognize what is good and what needs work, to be able to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses.

We invest a lot of our identities in the things we make, so it’s not enough to be a writer: we must be a good writer, otherwise we’re wasting our time, under capitalism. And we can’t weigh what makes a good writer, so metrics let us feel more comfortable in the identity.

it’s important to remember that time spent in front of your computer, the number of drafts written, the number of words written… none of those actually mean anything by themselves.

This makes me think too of my feelings about website analytics, and how the ubiquity and normativity of tracking leads us to fall into the trap of tracking stats we don’t have any need or purpose for. What we can measure becomes our focus, because it’s concrete, and leads to the presumption that more is better. It’s easy to be distracted from our ultimate goals by more quantifiable factors.

Health Resources and Reference

Keeping Your Own Fitbit Data

Your heart, your calories, your sleep, your data: How to extract your Fitbit data and make graphs using R

How I analyzed the data from my FitBit to improve my overall health

A Quest for Better Sleep with FitBit Data Analysis

Potentially helpful tools / projects:

Learning The Internet

Went to IndieWebCamp Popup: Sensitive Data on Your Personal Website

Replied to IndieWebCamp Popup: Sensitive Data on Your Personal Website (

Let’s come together to discuss using our websites to host, post, share, and store sensitive data, including medical records, habit logs, personal media files, and private writing.

What are the use cases for posting sensitive data on your own website? What plumbing is needed to host and share sensitive data within (and outside) the IndieWeb? What even is “sensitive” data, anyway?

Etherpad notes

Security through obscurity would probably cover most needs for me, with a few password protected and private posts. Although, I don’t know how logistically in WordPress to not include a specific post in the feed — that would work for pages where you just don’t add it to the menu and make it a hard-to-guess URL, but not posts.

I think people are starting to see and get used to the concept of private posts, with services like Patreon and Substack offering subscriber-only content — I think the paid subscriber concept would translate well to explaining to a friend or family member why they might need to be granted permission / to log into someone’s website to read certain kinds of content.

Question to ponder: what happens to my website after I die? As Chris pointed out, it’s not just a matter of paying hosting, but also the “admin tax” of installing updates and managing security. It would be horrible to have your website taken over and turned into a spam / spyware site after your death!

I could see a service that migrates your website to a new managed hosting, and also sets up a “memorial” page on the site like people seem to use Facebook posts for, with someone to manage webmentions / comments.

The Internet

Went to Homebrew Website Club

RSVPed Attending Homebrew Website Club – The Americas

One big HWC, for anyone in the Americas(or who is just available) who wants to dial in. Let’s talk about what we would like to do in 2021 now that it is here. What’s Homebrew Website Club?
Homebrew Website Club is a meetup for anyone interested in personal websites and a distributed web. Whether you…

We chatted about ways to visualize and represent threaded conversations, as well as some technical stuff about how to make threaded conversations work across IndieWeb websites where people comment from their own site.

This comes from May-Li Khoe’s 2000 dissertation.

Ironically, this is quite similar to what I had been imagining as a way to display posts on this mind garden!

I still don’t know how to accomplish it technically though 😉 It would be really cool to be able to visually see connections between topics. Of course, I’m not that good about internal linking, so it probably wouldn’t be that exciting without enriching the data manually first.

We also discussed consolidating our self-quantified data, like songs listened, books read, exercise done, steps taken, hours worked, mood, etc, and owning it all ourselves in a cross-referenced database that could be analyzed, potentially even using algorithms you could “buy from an app store”.

Another idea from this chat: publicly-run website hosting at the community level. Locally-owned and maintained server space so you don’t have to rely on Amazon or Microsoft for cloud, free or low-cost web hosting for community members. Some local internal network and communication space or tool maybe that you can only access if you’re a member? Community social. If I ever pursued my vision of a creative shared community space, this might be something I would want to incorporate.