Tag Archives: qsxx

QSXX Boston Meetup Recap

This post comes to us from Maggie Delano, an organizer for QSXX Boston- the Boston Women’s QS Meetup group

The QSXX Boston Chapter held our fifth meetup on March 3rd, 2014. We had a guest Amy Merrill from The Hormone Project talk about the direction of this new project. As a group, we discussed how something like the Hormone Project might be beneficial to us. We all agreed that it would be awesome if we could track our hormones at home, instantly, without going through a doctor (also, unicorns.) Relevant hormone research (if it exists at all) can be difficult to understand, and isn’t always driven by those it might have the biggest impact on. Concrete examples about the types of hormones and ways we can track these hormones would be very helpful.

We also talked about how sharing stories is a key aspect of QS, and how we might be able to facilitate further discussion around both hormones and QS in general. We discussed the potential benefits of not only being able to track our own data related to hormones, but also to see data from other people. While there are clear merits in sharing information, we also discussed the potential privacy implications therein. Some possibilities for collaboration between QSXX and The Hormone Project might include group tracking projects and/or “hormone dinner parties.” It was exciting to have The Hormone Project here for QSXX and we hope to have them attend a meetup again in the near future.

A lot of topics come up during each QSXX meetup. Here are a few concrete items that our group found interesting:

This article in Model View Culture on QS and feminism. We discussed how QSXX does and doesn’t address what the author is calling for here.

Glow. This is one example of a period tracking app. We discussed how most period tracking apps today are primarily fertility based, and it would be nice for new apps and tools to think more critically about what their users might want.

MetaMed and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute . Two examples of organizations that might be models for future work on hormones and QS.

Bringing Back My Real Self With Hormones. An interesting article from the New York Times on the potential impacts of hormones on the self.

Reporter App. We talked about this (relatively) new app for “reporting” on your day, and the advantages and disadvantages of services that ping you to enter data and services that you use to manually enter data when you remember to.

AliveCor iPhone ECG. We discussed this cell phone ECG case, which is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Lift’s The Quantified Diet. We examined how this experiment is an interesting first step toward “Quantified Us” and how we might apply something similar for a group tracking experiment of our own.

Pact. This came up as we were discussing motivations for tracking and maintaining habits. In this case, you can earn money when you reach your goals

The next QSXX Boston meetup will be held early this Summer. Stay tuned!

 

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The First Quantified Self Women’s Meetup

I’ve been organizing Quantified Self Meetup groups since 2011. After every meetup, another woman says something to me like:

I wish we could talk about [  women’s specific health topic  ].

I’d like to give a talk about [ … ] , but it doesn’t feel like it would fit in.

My tracking isn’t quantitative enough to give a talk.

If it were just women, I could give a really interesting talk about [ … ].

There are 500 Show & Tell talk videos online. I couldn’t find any on periods, yet women have probably been self-tracking this for, oh, somewhere around 100,000 years.

So now we’re creating a space for some of the conversations that have been notably missing from the QS community as a whole.

The first Quantified Self Women’s Meetup will take place in San Francisco this Wednesday. The group is for women and people who identify as non-male. True Ventures is graciously hosting our first meeting, and Square will host the second gathering. If you’re in the Bay Area, we’d love to have you join us!

The intention of a women’s meetup is to create space where we, as women, feel comfortable talking about things – ideas and devices and experiments – that wouldn’t otherwise be talked about. What are we tracking? How are we tracking it? What are we learning?

Let’s make QS a community where women’s voices are heard and valued. I’m excited to see what a gathering of smart, geeky, talented, self-quantifying women talks about. There are sensor hackers, circuit designers, ux designers, and developers coming. Will new companies form, new products be designed, new experiments be sparked? Will someone finally talk about periods?


Join us! Start a women’s meetup in your city, go out for dinner or drinks and talk! Or just stay tuned – we’ll publish a write up of our event.

 
Amelia Greenhall is a programmer and designer at a tech startup in San Francisco. Find her work at ameliagreenhall.com or say hello on twitter: @ameliagreenhall.
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