Data worth spreading: Why I joined Research Lifestreaming

I just signed up for Research Lifestreaming by Harris Interactive.

This multi-pronged approach to marketing data amalgamation invites intrigue, curiosity, resistance.. I have chosen to give a company the right to access my documented activity across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN and WordPress.  They gather information such as posts, my  interactions on facebook, my complete profile information, photos, videos..and no doubt much more.  This is used to trend character attributes and habits, which allows Harris Interactive to profile individuals into groups, such as leaders and followers, based on proprietary algorithms.

The capabilities of Research Lifestreaming are further explained here.  Collected data lends to the creation of surveys and two-way interactions that are tailored to the hundreds of categorizations into which an individual may fall.  Harris Interactive claims this leads to “comprehensive, three-dimensional knowledge of WHO the individual REALLY is.”  Ambitious. Fascinating.

For years I have wanted to see my webdata analyzed and integrated into a cohesive whole.  Now that the opportunity arises, I take it, but not without hesitation.  I wonder how much is recorded; am I signing away web privacy (do they see facebook messages? even, does it matter? etc); have I somehow agreed that my photos, recorded thoughts, ideas and opinions are also the property of this organization?  If you have answers, please share.

On an intellectual property note, read the following:

“By making Monitored Content [data I allow them to compile] available to Harris, you grant Harris, its partners, and clients… the unlimited, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual right to use, copy, display, perform, distribute, adapt, create derivative works, sublicense, and promote such Monitored Content in any medium and any manner whatsoever, as well as the right to transfer the rights of use to third parties without entitlement to compensation.”

Complete terms and conditions available here.  I understand this is a necessary preventative legal measure and I hope that the trust we participants give this organization to handle our valuable datasets compels Harris Interactive to act in an appropriate and honorable manner.

I overcame an initial hoarding of my online activities and decided that this is the TED thing to do.  “Data worth spreading.”  Have at it, Harris Interactive.  I look forward to learning what you learn about myself and the world.   The claimed scope of Research Lifestreaming raises the question:  does an integration of online activity really unveil who a person is?  I think not, but it is an important step in our deepened understanding of how groups and individuals “exist” in this increasingly digital world.

Please share your thoughts, ideas and opinions.  Would you join Research Lifestreaming?

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Grilling over Rosemary Wood

I was jogging the other day and ran by a rosemary bush a meter tall thrown out with trash.

I replanted it and the bush is today pronounced deceased.  So now I have some Rosemary wood to grill with.  It is a perennial herb with 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick limbs .  And once it dries out a bit we are going to cook over it.  Hickory smoked food tastes good.  Rosemary smoked food..oh man sounds amazing.  I will let you know how it goes.

Side note related to life and the outdoors, I have been taking photos of a specific garden since early April. It is turning into somewhat of a masterpiece of photographic flow series.  First every two weeks and now it seems every couple of days new greenery bursts into vibrant bloom.  From barely broken winter ground to a four foot tall mesh of life.  Changing bright and soft colors and hues and depth of green. Green into POW! white, yellow, purple, burgundy.

What does life do to an area of Earth that it inhabits?  A hydrologic system (of organisms) mediates a bit of air and soil [look into that statement].  It changes the chemical composition of its environment, making complex molecules and a variety of by-products that themselves fuel an evolving, increasingly complex biosphere.

Periodic cycles of ebb and flow in energy availability drive a dynamic system to “produce” (that is, exist).  The structure of the affecting cycles effects the overall ecology, which itself incorporates the functions which affect its description.  I find this intriguing.  I think about this subject in many ways, striving for pure curiosity and inquisitiveness.

Along the way I end up with systems affecting (or as an effect of – or both -) my thought process.  Such is the case in my deciding to document the growth of a garden.  Here, it is so that I can look back and see, differently.  It’s a pseudo-experiment that tests the hypothesis that the end product will inspire something new.  Which could be just some photos.  Conversely, it might aid thoughts about evolving ecological systems.

As great books inspire ideas, thoughtful intrigue can incite literature recollections and research collaborations that happen to arise alongside the stimulus.  The stimulus of instantaneously re-seeing a garden grow from bare to bearing.  It falls under a nameless category of curiosity to which I ascribe the sentiment of “Hm, that’s interesting”.   I nurture many off-the-wall undertakings with this principle.  Now then, you have wasted minutes reading my eccentric labors and musings.  Go along and pursue your passion, no matter the obscurity. Remember that gravity was considered ridiculous when Galileo first thought of it.

Here is one photograph I have taken along the way.  Sharing enthusiasm for life’s subtle details.  -Amy

Aquilegia (also called Columbine) blooms in mid-April 2010
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First Blog Post.

I was in Jacksonville last week for a national ecosystem banking conference.  May work on a seagrass restoration bank on the Atlantic coast.  Also a water quality trade project in Texas.  And a three species conservation bank in California.  As well as regular Robinsong projects.

I’m working with EPA/Corps on changing policy to reflect the increased ecological benefits of planting aquatics in stream restorations with an increase in credit generation.  This must be backed by science; I currently collaborate with Auburn’s Biosystems Engineering Dept on structuring grad student experiments to illustrate the concepts I understand but cannot yet illustrate.  Very difficult and multidisciplinary.  Talks have moved through various others – most notably Oregon University’s Ecology Dept, as well as a long list of individuals who continually provide suggestions, ideas, and networking opportunities.

I am currently pursuing an intensive study to better familiarize myself with the state of global ecological economic markets, in prep for a conference in Washington D.C. in early June.  Also studying environmental physics to aid in development of research to back ideas generated.  

Still looking for data on carbon sequestration rates of oceanic plants (esp. phytoplankton) – Any info would be appreciated.

That’s a (very short) briefing of my work-related endeavors.  Stay tuned for personal interests, they are far less..structured, in the traditional sense of “one thought leading to a related next” – I am all over the place.  

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