Do you have a Flickr account where you post your best shots with a description of your mood when the pictures were taken? Do you have a Twitter account where you post your thoughts and what’s on your mind? Maybe you are a blogger posting on WordPress (like me) about a trip you are currently doing? If you answered yes, you are in fact documenting your life. But there is a problem: how do you make sure the content you create on the Internet will stay forever accessible to you? How can you make sure you won’t lose anything when a service like Flickr decides to change the rules and remove pictures from their platform? I have set up a way to document and safely keep my numeric life. Here is what I did.
I’ve been using the excellent and powerful journal app named Dayone. I keep a personal journal and write things in it quite often? This app allows you to create entries with text, photos, audio recordings, drawings, etc. Each entry contains a lot of metadata like the current weather, the GPS coordinates, the current music playing, etc. I use it for my personal journal. The key to my setup is being able to integrate Dayone with the service named IFTTT which is a web service that allows you to automate tasks within web services. One example of this is to automatically post on Twitter a photo you just uploaded to Flickr. Flickr by itself doesn’t do that so to circumvent this, you can use IFTTT to do it for you.
The cool thing is that you can also use IFTTT to push content to your Dayone journal. But in order to be able to integrate both of them, first, you need to subscribe to the premium tier within Dayone. This will enable a lot of cool features like syncing your journals on Dayone web servers. Second, this will make it possible for IFTTT web services to push content into your Dayone journals over the web. Don’t worry, all of this is secured with encryption.
So, for example, I have created an “applet” on IFTTT that does this: if I publish a picture on Flickr, I’d like to keep this post in my personal journal on Dayone and give it a tag “Flick”. The journal entry will include the picture itself, the description, the date and time and the source of the information. Pretty cool huh?! I have many applets that I have created to save, for example, a copy of all my tweets on Twitter, or create an entry each time I publish a new blog post here on numericcitizen.me. Using RSS feeds with IFTTT is dead simple.
With all these applets working for me in the background, I’m documenting and saving what I post on the internet via different web services that I use. The following diagram shows the flow of information between the sources and the destination, Dayone.
As you can see, my internet presence is not only here on WordPress. I publish my photo processing sessions on Vimeo, I have a Twitter account too, obviously, I’m posting photos on Flickr and I’m a reader on Medium or video consumer on YouTube. Nearly all of my interactions with these services are saved within my personal journal on Dayone. I find this to be cool and relieving. I hope with this blog post that I gave you enough information so you can start to do the same.