I became interested in thinking about a Data Model for My Life at the end of April.
It was a challenge because it meant modelling the real world.
I have a small team (Kathryn in Vancouver, Washington, Christian in Los Angeles and Matt in London) helping me determine the direction of this work.
If you'd like to apply to join us,
please let me know.
I found relevant work going on at three different organisations :-
At the Microsoft Research Center in San Francisco, a senior researcher called
Gordon Bell is working on a
Gordon is defining a 'Personal Transaction Processing Database', based on work originally published in 1945 !!!
He invited me to collaborate with him in his work and this gave me an additional incentive to spend time thinking about this interesting area.
2) Rutgers University
Professor Hasan Elahi (email firstname.lastname@example.org) has been recording every detail of his life for the past 3 years, and has created a very attractive Web Site called
Transience.net to display the results.
This was reported in
Wired magazine for June 2007.
Elahi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts.
His motivation was finding himself on the FBI Terrorist watch list !
He decided that if the FBI wanted to know about his daily life he wpuld make it easy for them by putting on the Internet.
He has documented nearly every waking moment of the past three years.
He has put about 20,000 images on his web site.
He posts copies of every debit card transaction.
A GPS device in his pocket reports his real-time physical location on a map, (just like TwitterVision).
He has recorded these details on his Rutgers web site and also on the Tracking Transience web site
3) Yale University
I also found a related 'WorldBeam Project' being done at
Yale University, where IBM sponsored me to do research a while back.
This work is being done by
Professor David Gelernter and has been reported in
Forbes magazine, (requires subscription).
After a little thought, I realised that in our personal lives, our activities are the important thing.
Whereas in a work situation, we need to be able to put our hands on the information that we need.
Our activities are secondary to 'getting the job done'.
What these two areas have in common is the concept of a central place to go to find any piece of information that you are interested in.
In our personal lives, this would include things like Bills, Receipts, Tickets, Photos, Audio and Video clips.
If you interested in more details, check out the My Life Page
In a work environment, we also need a central 'Catalogue' of information. This time, it will cover things like Customers, Products , Orders and so on.
If I were as 'house-husband' or homemaker, then I would be running my own organisation and my needs would combine both.
I have developed this theme in My Work Page