Using long-term Internet usage data collected by network connected Pi-hole to track personal behavior(s)

Your impulse to give DNS queries some significance is correct (IMO). They are one of the core information assets of a digital footprint/fingerprint.

In terms of mapping my visits to know what I was/am most interested in, do you have any suggestions on where I might start with a project like that. It sounds interesting, and like something I would enjoy participating in.

No, I don´t have any suggestions. Before I wrote my last post, I googled librarian´s schema just to make sure it is a word. I learned that there are what is called ontologies, which are used to train so called artificial intelligence. I don´t understand much of it, but I imagine coming up with an ontology in a coded form is quite a hard problem, because this ontology would have to be a representation of the world how it is conceptualized by our brains. So I was implying that mapping your queries is forbiddingly difficult.

1 Like

What I have trouble getting my mind around here is just this: the mapping of a “phenomenon of interest” to DNS queries. It’s sort of intriguing, because IP addresses seem to contain a lot of interesting structure, but at the lowest level they don’t represent your perspective or experience ery clearly. This may be a case of “starting with the data” rather than “starting with the question” which tends to lead to a research-oriented project rather than something that has a high chance of being personally relevant. As research, though, it could be interesting to look at a derivative measure, such as “consistency” in the pattern of DNS queries, to reflect novelty seeking. I’m not sure that any signal would show up there, but you could explore it.

1 Like

Thank you to everyone who has commented on or expressed interest in this little project. I have been encouraged by your feedback to continue onward, with further development.

If anyone is interested in the code/tools (applications) that I’m building for these analyses, you can find them here on GitHub. There are also instructions on how to export or download your Pi-hole data from another Linux PC.

As an update to this thread, I recently downloaded over nine months of DNS data from my Pi-hole. And I’ve learned even more about myself, now having a WAP, NAS and other new services on my LAN. There’s a lot more activity to measure.

I have also been busy building new tools for analyzing this kind of information. So I’m zoned-in and primed to build even more software.

I have a question for anyone who would like to respond to this post:

What kinds of Pi-hole DNS analyses should I build applications for?

Feel free to suggest whatever comes to mind.

I’m following this project with interest, mainly because I haven’t seen anybody get personally relevant info from DNS logging; I suspect it’s possible and would like to see an example, but I haven’t yet. I’m trying to come up with questions that are important to me that this data could help answer, but so far no luck. Have you made any discoveries that could give me some clues about where to look?

1 Like

Hello and thank you for your interest in this little project. It has been thrilling to quantify so much of my life based simply on DNS logs. I recommend this exercise to anyone, everyone interested in self-analysis.

For example, one of the recent discoveries that I’ve made after analyzing these Pi-hole DNS records is that my browsing habits continue to evolve, and rather quickly. I am visiting different websites, at different times of day, depending on what season of the year it is, any any given moment.

Another insight is that I’ve been browsing the Internet more often, for longer periods of time and via a greater diversity of domains. In other words, I am visiting more websites today, than I was six months ago. And that interests me quite a bit.

I have been working on other data projects recently, but would thoroughly enjoy a return to building this set of apps at some point in the near future.

1 Like