Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ethnographic Assessment of Quantified Self Meetup Groups

From the report: This project report documents an ethnographic assessment completed in collaboration with Quantified Self. Quantified Self started in the San Francisco Bay Area, but has become a worldwide community of people that practice “self-tracking” as a way to build new habits or undergo beneficial change through generating self-knowledge. Self-tracking projects are wide ranging, and Quantified Self has become the main venue for self-trackers to share their personal projects in meetings that follow a show & tell format. From the original group started in the Bay Area in 2008, there are now more than 50 Quantified Self (QS) groups worldwide. QS Labs (the central organizing group in the Bay Area) offers support and guidance to people that want to start a new meetup. To enable leadership at QS Labs to provide better support to emerging groups, an ethnographic assessment was designed and conducted. The assessment sampled the experiences from a variety of QS meetup groups, in order to understand the barriers and obstacles for organizers, and to identify the points of innovation occurring in different groups. Findings from the assessment were presented in a report to QS Labs in March 2012. This project report also provides significant background information on Quantified Self, self-tracking, and meetups. The client report combines aspects of basic and applied research, as an applied ethnographic description. Data collection for the client report followed a praxis approach to applied anthropology as an orientation for research, from Warry (1992) and Singer (1994)." Read more