Diaries are boring and messy, especially when we’ve got social networking bullshit to sate our narcissistic needs for attention. You can find real people to listen to your whining. Unreal right? Turns out, people love that stuff. I could make a program that would keep digital diary entries with dates and all that, but that’s just as boring as paper and pen. But ANALYTICS, now that would be cool. Trend-tracking and logistics about your life. Man, Zuckerberg didn’t even think of that. What if, somehow, a program could track your mood (happiness rating) or measure sarcasm and then graph it out, showing periods of depression, consistency, growth. It’s a journal that keeps track of what’s on your mind and how you’re feeling that day. Who knows, you could do a study and find out that weather affects peoples’ moods. Or China Earthquake drops global satisfaction rating 12%. This sounds bad, but blogging has that inherent burden of identity. The super-ego makes us act and talk in socially-accepted ways, because, ultimately, you blog so someone else will read. Of course, people that write diaries write knowing that it’s probable that nobody else will read what they write. So, some people write to get their thoughts together. Writing things down and forming concrete ideas from abstract thoughts helps a ton with messy situations. It’s always easier to make a decision as an observer. But what about this model: Every person keeps their own diary dataset, encrypted and secured on their own computer, while the entry analysis results (not the actual entries themselves) are anonymously published to an organization that releases aggregated data to the public. Something like this can potentially generate a huge amount of data, stuff that could lead to interesting conclusions. The entries get the benefit of anonymity as well as the reassurance of purpose. You know that it’s statistically impossible for anyone to hack (and read) your diary entries but you also know that you are contributing to the great wealth of arbitrary data and information. On a smaller scale, you can also see your own analysis data detailing periods of your life where things are good and bad.
The beauty of innovation is that people don’t even know they need it. Of course, the world goes on even without analyses of the state of global human society. It’s just hard to imagine a utopia without one of these things. Damn.