My friend Upendra sent me an email about Personal Kyoto. What an amazing idea! The site (currently only for New Yorkers) tracks your personal energy usage by logging into the electric company’s web site and downloading your usage information. It then shows you how you’re doing relative to the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. I love this. Government isn’t doing what you want? Ratify the Kyoto Protocol in your living room, one house at a time.
Seeing the site made me think about James Duncan Davidson‘s great blog post today, talking about the way he was able to take data from around the web and craft it to his purposes when redesigning his personal site:
The neat thing is that this page goes beyond being a simple list of books with “Buy It!” links. There are the Customer Review ranks for each of the books (as an aside, I’m proud that all of my efforts have received at least 4 out of 5 stars). Then, by jumping to each book’s individual page, you can read the reviews for the books. There are my pitiful sales rank numbers. And there are links to my Amazon Wish List and other goodies. All of this is maintained by somebody else. It’s hosted on somebody else’s infrastructure. […]
Instead of just letting Amazon and Flickr and the other sites have all the fun, it’s like taking a bit of it back and collecting a web presence that’s wider than just what I can provide on a single system built by just me.
He’s right, and I love how far they’ve taken the same idea at Personal Kyoto. That’s my data: let me put it to work for me, and make of it what I want.