Here are examples of messages in the Grafitter format:
• #mood(happy) Just had ice cream.
• A long day #work( 11) And it’s not even done yet.
• Relaxing lunch with friends. #lunch(amy, bob, jim)
The Grafitter format is designed to be distinct and easy to input.
First, the format is distinct enough to simplify parsing of the data.
Since there is no central server (the Grafitter format can be embedded
in Twitter, blogs, sharing Web sites, and so on), there is no preprocessing of the data to prepare it for visualization. Instead, parsing is
done client-side, thus parsing has to be efficient.
The second consideration is that since users might use the format
several times a day over several days and weeks, it must be easy to enter.
We leverage Twitter hashtags because many people already use them.
While there are three main avenues for reporting personal behavioral information to Grafitter, the format can be supported in other
social media, too.
received by the bot are sent to the Grafitter site, which stores the messages. Users can access graphs of their messages using their instant
messaging screen name at http://grafitter.com/im/ screen_name.
On the path to greater self knowledge, Grafitter makes it easy to
report daily personal behavioral information by connecting with various social media in different contexts. The tool automatically culls
data from these sources so that users may reflect on visualizations of
their collected behavioral information, and perhaps get to “know thyself” just a little better.
Users can use the Grafitter format while sending messages with
Twitter. Since Twitter supports SMS (Short Message Service) and
there are Twitter clients for mobile devices and desktop computers,
users can enter their personal behavioral information using the
Grafitter format using multiple devices. When users are ready to see
visualizations of the data they have collected, they can go to http://
grafitter.com/tw/twitter_name. The Grafitter site gets the data from
Twitter using the Twitter API.
Embedding Data While Sharing
We use Delicious as an example of embedding data while sharing
because it has a robust API for accessing data and plenty of users.
When sharing a bookmark on Delicious, users can enter Grafitter-formatted information in the “Notes” field of the Delicious form. We use the “Notes” field to preserve the
title of the bookmarked page in the “Title” field and
to avoid cluttering the users’ set of Delicious tags.
Since Delicious tags are space-separated, entering a
valid Grafitter format such as “#mood(very happy)”
into the “Tags” field will be parsed by Delicious as two
unseemly tags “#mood(very” and “happy)”. Visualizations of Grafitter-formatted data on Delicious are
seen at http://grafitter.com/dl/delicious_name.
Ian Li ( email@example.com) is a PhD student in the Human-Computer
Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests are in ubiquitous computing, visualizations, interaction design, and social web. He has combined these interests to develop personal informatics systems that help people gain self-knowledge by
collecting and reflecting on information about themselves.
Anind Dey ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a professor in the Human-Computer
Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he recently
started directing the HCII PhD program. His research interests lie at the
intersection of human-computer interaction and ubiquitous computing, focusing on how to make novel technologies more usable and useful. In particular, he builds tools that make it easier to build useful ubiquitous computing applications and supporting end users in controlling
their ubiquitous computing systems.
Jodi Forlizzi ( email@example.com) is a professor in the Human-Computer
Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She is an interaction
designer contributing to design theory and practice. Her theoretical research examines theories of experience and emotion as they relate to interaction design. Her other research and practice centers on notification
systems ranging from peripheral displays to social robots, with a special
focus on the social aspects of these systems.
Instant Messaging Bot
We also created an instant messaging bot to which
users can send Grafitter-formatted messages. The
bot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org using any
Jabber-enabled client, such as iChat and Google
Talk. An IM bot on the AIM network can also be
reached at email@example.com. The IM bot is
built using the IMified service ( imified.com), which
runs bots on several IM networks, such Jabber/
GTalk, AIM, Yahoo!, and MSN. The messages