my approach to the quantified-self is revealing who/what influences me

if you know me personally, you know a freaking love tumblr. not so much as a consumer, but as a producer. i use tumblr to keep track of SO many things in my life. in fact, i currently operate 11 active tumblrs (meaning they get updated at least once a week) and have started more than 20. i use tumblr because of its flexibility, simplicity, and it’s interoperability (is the right word for ‘functional on multiple platforms’?).

part of my personal system is to keep track of everything that goes into my brain. i started doing this because i was impressed by michael felton’s annual reports. my old roommate, ben golder (love you, ben!) introduced me to the reports and not only they were beautiful, but they allowed him to surface hidden patterns. having those patterns surfaced enabled him to make strategic decisions to live more like he wanted to.

that idea inspired me so i started keeping tabs on everything i consumed. well, not exactly everything (maybe i’ll get there someoday), but at least all the digital media i consume.

so my digital media tumblrs are things i read (web content), watch (video), see (static imagery/photography), listen to (mostly podcasts), and like visually/graphically (graphic design mostly). there are others, like stuffiusedtoown (inspired by my friend, erin) and puns, but they’re less relevant to this convo.

a few months ago, i started adding a brief description of who sent me a piece in the tumblr post (example here).

and then randomly (or not randomly?!) the other day a quote attributed to jim rohn popped into my head:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

i realized in that moment that by correlating my blog (the tumblr you’re reading now) with my other tumblrs, someday i might be able to quantify exactly which people have the most influence on me and my thoughts. i also imagine that, say i were to thread all the tumblrs together into a single timeline or feed, i could map major changes in my thinking and consciousness backwards down the data and resources that led to those changes.



somewhat interesting article that expands on the jim rohn quote a bit.