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Sheffield

UK

The fast, fun way to keep track of the things that matter. Your second memory.

Logsit Blog

​All the latest news from Logsit Towers.

Some thoughts on the quantified self

David Yates

Santorio in his wonderful and hilarious chair balance

Whilst building Logsit, we've had to explain the app to all sorts of people and something that always crops up is the term 'quantified self'. You've probably heard this term more than a few times over the past couple of years. It was coined by journalists Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf to describe the act of measuring one's body or behaviour in order to gain insights that wouldn't otherwise be obvious. This can include anything from simply weighing yourself to the kind of sophisticated physiological analysis undertaken by professional sports people to grab that last 1% of performance. Either way, it is a practice that we all engage in at some point, and that has exploded in popularity over recent years, presumably due to the availability of ever cheaper smartphones capable of timing us, finding our location and summarising all of this information in a convenient way.

It's a great time to be involved in helping people to keep track of the things they do, but we also realise that people react very differently to terms such as 'quantified self': some are excited by it, whilst others find it a little intimidating. You might be a committed self-tracker in the tradition of the great Santorio (pictured above) - an Italian physician who spent thirty years of his life weighing everything that went into his body and, ahem, everything that went out - or you might just want to keep track of when you took some paracetamol, phoned the electric company or tried a new wine. Something we pay great attention to at Logsit, is the need to explain the benefits of logging aspects of life to all groups of people and we've tried our best to make sure that the design and communication of our app reflects this. Soon Logsit will be available for everyone to try and we hope we've succeeded!