November 07, 2008

Wakoopa Is Going to Give Away My Web App Obsessions

I often get comments from people asking just how much time I spend on social networks, writing blog posts, and reading RSS feeds. Most of the time, that answer is hard to get, as I spend a few minutes throughout the day making sure I miss as little as possible, and try to limit the time it takes to write most posts to about 20 minutes or so. But there are software solutions out there to help track all my application and Web service activity, which, in theory, could give away exactly how much time I am wasting allotting to each task. Among the easiest, and growing increasingly popular, is Wakoopa.

Wakoopa, upon registering, provides a small tracker that, once installed on your computer, monitors both your foreground applications, and those in the background. It also tracks most major services, including Twitter, FriendFeed, Google Reader and Facebook, to find out how much time you're spending online.

Software trackingBeyond tracking your own activity, making you guilty for each minute you might spend at the office on a social network instead of buried in Microsoft Office apps, you can review software you use, see other reviews from fellow Wakoopers, and monitor activity from around the service - including seeing the most popular applications from across the network, and seeing live activity, which streams vertically, much like Twitter's feed.

Wakoopa formally launched in early 2007, and has started to gain traction in recent months. In October, they were added as a supported service in FriendFeed, and according to, they grew 12 percent month over month, seeing yearly growth of nearly 300%. (Usual caveat: stats are questionable)

Given I already stream much of the social activity I do around the Web, and try and be as transparent as possible, I see little downside to keeping the Wakoopa Tracker on, showing you how often I use Adobe Photoshop or Apple Mail, when I boot up iTunes, or if I'm updating Facebook. Do I expect to meet new friends and peers through Wakoopa just because we share an affinity for word processing programs? Probably not. But if Wakoopa over time starts to tell me that I'm doing way too much socializing, and not enough business, that just might impact my future behavior.

If you get into the service, you can even highlight your own software and Web activity on your blog with embedded widgets, or see what other folks are using around the Web. The image at the top left of this post showing my top ten software apps is updated live based on my own activity, so you can see the service in action. You can find me tracking my activity at