Last week I discovered Jonathan Harris through a YouTube video that someone shared about a project where he decided to take a photo a day and post it online along with a short story on his 30th birthday. I visited the site where he posted the photos as well as watched the short film he created about it (embedded below). Now this is something I’ve seen others do in varying ways, to different degrees and utilizing different tools. But Jonathan was capturing a pretty compelling “Lifestory” as you will see when watching the video that also drew many people to follow it. While I was planning to simply share this, I dug a little deeper and discovered other interesting aspects about Jonathan.
It turns out that he’s a self-described storyteller that has embraced technology using software development that takes big data sets to create unique visual art from it. A project he worked on several years back called We Feel Fine aggregated content generated by people that used the term “I feel” or “I am feeling” and provided many ways to visualize and consume the information. I’ve embedded an amazing TED talk he did in 2007 that explains this project in more detail along with other things he’s worked on as well. He discussed how as people have started providing ways to share self-expression on the internet, he took these “footprints” through passive observation that were being posting online to help draw conclusions from them. His talk covers many topics that resonate with Lifestreaming. The talk is well worth viewing if you’re as interested as I am in drawing ideas or value from all this content we share online as well as the ongoing debate that questions its value.
Short Film about Jonathan’s “Today” project
Jonathan Harris TED talk on: The Web’s Secret Stories