Friday, October 12, 2007

Leveraging system tracking

As I mentioned yesterday, RescueTime is in limited beta, so I'm testing it out in comparison with Wakoopa. It's an interesting comparison, since although both packages do basically the same thing -- track your usage of different programs and post the results to a website -- they offer different analysis tools.

Wakoopa is all about straight application use and sharing comments on the applications, and even suggests alternatives to the apps you use heavily. (For instance, I use Firefox, so Wakoopa suggests Camino.) These alternatives are based on application usage across Wakoopa's user base. And as the base gets larger, it becomes easier to see patterns in application use. So Wakoopa is beginning to post factoids like this:
Did you know World of Warcraft is played most on sunday, and least on tuesday? We do. Wakoopa knows software.
RescueTime, on the other hand, is more about characterizing personal activity. So you get to free-tag your applications and view where your time is going (hence the product name). You can click through to view bar graphs on all apps or on tags. Surprisingly, it does not appear to have a way to share these results; perhaps that feature will come later, and I hope it does, because the real potential I see for RescueTime is in real-time characterization of work activity for distributed groups.

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