Media Diet Idea

Now that I’ve sufficeintly depressed myself by re-visiting my OCEAN and Myers-Briggs assessments, I want to switch gears into a project I want to start on.

I am skipping gears a little bit here because I have yet to create a post outlining my current interests. * SPOILER ALERT * one of my interests s quantified self. Creating personal metrics to make sure I my actions and time allocations line up with my principles and what I tell myself / others. Just like a company sets operational and financial metrics to hold the various components of it’s organization in check, I want to do that for myself.

At first my desire was to breakdown how all my waking hours were spent. That is quite daunting for a lot of reasons, some obvious.

  • How do you track all of your time / activities without constant survelience?
  • How do you tie together all the various services which track different aspects of your life? Permissions, API integrations, etc.
  • What happens when someone is completely offline, or if they go dark?
  • Assuming you can create this comprehensive data tracking system, and people want to use it, would all this info serve any real purpose?

I think the scope of my original idea is little too broad and ambitious. Further there are other companies and sectors that are already moving ahead nicely – fitness tracking, sleep tracking, search tracking, web browser tracking, etc.

So I was thinking it would be useful to pick an area that is not as advanced in terms of aggragated tracking and surfacing of results and try that first. I came up with something called “media diet”.

Put together a dashboard that summaries people’s consumption of:

Reading – What you read and the source

  • Newspapers – digital
  • Newsletters / Blogs – daily or weekly sent to your email.
  • Longform web – websites
  • Books – Kindle and Offline, tracked through Goodreads.

Listening – What you listen to and the source

  • Albums / Songs – from a digital streaming service
  • Podcasts – podcast aggregator or digital service
  • Youtube – currently not possible

Video – Platform and What the Content Was

  • TV / Film – digital service
  • Film at a Theater
  • Youtube
  • Cable or Satellite TV – not sure if this is possible yet


  • Through your PC
  • Through a dedicated gaming console
  • Through your phone

Live Events

  • This one goes across all the other four verticals – reading, listening, watching, playing.

I think this slice of a person’s life would be more manageable to track for the following reasons:

  • Most of the activities take place through digital channels where passive tracking is possible
  • It is not as creepy as tracking their location and offline activities.
  • The information packet would be fun and useful for them – to see how they spend their “free” time.
  • We could add (and potentially remove) services and categories after the initial rollout as they are created.

And what would the pitch be to the customer, in terms of why they might be interested in something like this?

I believe the main pitch is that we usually don’t realize just how affected we are by the stimulus around us. It affects your mood and colors the way you look at things. When we consume media, we are making a very deliberate choice, but most of us don’t really give the choice the deliberation it deserves.

By surfacing our habits back to us, we give ourselves the chance to sit back and think about what impact our sources of media could be having on us. Pushing us too far in a particular direction, or simply wasting our time.

Having a baseline creates choice, and gives a person the opportunity to pursue change. And once they pursue change, with the tracking in place, they are more likely to succeed and hit desired outcomes since they can monitor their progress and adjust as need-be.

So that’s the idea. Today I am going to track my own media diet offline in a notebook and will post it tomorrow. If I can keep the habit going I will create a submenu to not overrun the blog section with my daily posts.

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