Global Constant
Steve Nay's ramblings

Compiling my digital history

You can get a pretty interesting and comprehensive picture of my online life if you look at the things I write, share, like, tweet, and bookmark. The problem is that all of that information is distributed throughout the internet in various silos, like Facebook, Twitter,, Tumblr, and Google. Thanks to things like RSS and Atom, it’s possible to get (most of) that information out of the silos into a machine-readable format. But I still have the issue of compiling it all.

I’ve been using the iOS app Momento for a few weeks now. It does a laudable job of collecting all my activity into one place. Several of the services are built in, like Facebook and Twitter, while a multitude of others are supported via the “web feeds” option. Momento imports these all, ties them to the date on which they occurred, and labels them. I can even add “diary entries” right into the app to provide more context.

The interesting thing about Momento is that it runs entirely on my iPod–none of the aggregated data is stored on Momento’s servers. I have a local copy of everything and that’s it. I can back that up to my computer via iTunes and do whatever I want with it.

Even still, however, Momento is a sort of silo. I can only access its data on my device. This solution isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. It gets me a step closer to having a personal data store where everything I do or post online is under my control.