All about lifestreaming.

When AOL picks up on something you know that it’s hit the big time. Such is the case with lifestreaming. It’s a terrible name (IMHO) but a great idea. This SlideShare presentation will explain the rationale behind it:

More on Sweetcron in a bit…

I’ve been tinkering with lifestreams on my home page — basically as a way for non-Facebook friends to quickly and efficiently see what I’m up to. Along the way I’ve learned a thing or two, and I’m more than happy to share what little I know.

Here, then, are your major options for implementing a lifestream on the web…

1. Widgets:

Both FriendFeed and MyBlogLog were already enjoying some success when I first became aware of them back in 2008. Kudos must go to FriendFeed, however for being the service that the movers and shakers embraced.

For me they both shared a great feature — the availability of javascript widgets that could be embedded on an external site to show either my activity stream or the sites and services I used. Indeed, for about a year my home page consisted entirely of FriendFeed and/or MBL widgets.

2. Self-hosted:

Sweetcron, the solution mentioned off the top of this post, has been described as a self-hosted version of FriendFeed. I installed it on my server over the weekend and had high hopes for it, but I don’t think it’s for me.

The Good:

  • All of my activity is searchable from my home page;
  • Activity is automatically tagged.

Have a look at Sweetcron theme demo to see these features in action.

The Bad:

3. Hosted:

While continue to fiddle with Sweetcron (or not), I’ve been taking a look at some hosted lifestreaming options, like chi.mp, Cliqset, Lifestream.fm and soup.io, among others — one of which would be attached to my domain via a simple URL redirect.

As a hosted service is to be my home page (even if temporarily), a basic requirement for me is to have my contact info front and centre. Of the lot above chi.mp seems to be the only service with that feature.

Anyway I’ve gone a slightly different route and am moving forward instead with a service called Flavors.me — once again a stupid, stupid name but the product more than satisfies my basic needs: A quick and easy (and in this case even elegant) way¬†for anyone to see what I’m up to with contact info front and centre.

You can see the results right here. If you know of another, better lifestreaming solution by all means let me know!

12 Responses to “All about lifestreaming.”


  • You meant “biggest” pro, right?

    I honestly spent the last 5 minutes searching for a web 2.0 service called “biggewt pro”… Oops.

    I would normally agree with you, except that a typical lifestream aggregates data that’s already been handed over to external servers. I’d much rather be able to export my stuff from each service individually, as I wrote about last week.

    But there’s certainly nothing wrong with choice!

  • you didn’t list the biggewt pro which is that by self-hosting, you are fully in control of your data.

    I have chimp, but don’t really use it. The best I ever saw was slurp, which created a calendar of you online activity and was amazing. Alas, it is gone now.

    For the contact info, a .tel domain is an interesting solution. I have one but haven’t done much with it

  • you didn’t list the biggewt pro which is that by self-hosting, you are fully in control of your data.

    I have chimp, but don’t really use it. The best I ever saw was slurp, which created a calendar of you online activity and was amazing. Alas, it is gone now.

    For the contact info, a .tel domain is an interesting solution. I have one but haven’t done much with it

  • You meant “biggest” pro, right?

    I honestly spent the last 5 minutes searching for a web 2.0 service called “biggewt pro”… :roll:

    I would normally agree with you, except that a typical lifestream aggregates data that’s already been handed over to external servers. I’d much rather be able to export my stuff from each service individually, as I wrote about last week.

    But there’s certainly nothing wrong with choice!

  • You meant “biggest” pro, right?

    I honestly spent the last 5 minutes searching for a web 2.0 service called “biggewt pro”… Oops.

    I would normally agree with you, except that a typical lifestream aggregates data that’s already been handed over to external servers. I’d much rather be able to export my stuff from each service individually, as I wrote about last week.

    But there’s certainly nothing wrong with choice!

  • Sorry about that. I was typing on a touchscreen while riding in a car. Tried to catch the typos, but missed one.

    If it’s an aggregate of all your data, I think control (in terms of maintenance) is pretty important. These services come, go, and change hands on a weekly basis, so it’s not about privacy so much as posterity.

    Then again, maybe you want the stuff to be here now, and then gone afterwards. That’s certainly a reasonable attitude toward life-streaming.

  • Sorry about that. I was typing on a touchscreen while riding in a car. Tried to catch the typos, but missed one.

    If it’s an aggregate of all your data, I think control (in terms of maintenance) is pretty important. These services come, go, and change hands on a weekly basis, so it’s not about privacy so much as posterity.

    Then again, maybe you want the stuff to be here now, and then gone afterwards. That’s certainly a reasonable attitude toward life-streaming.

  • Hey Chris,

    I’d be much obliged — an email is on its way!

  • I have a somewhat customized copy of Teh blog ar (not) dead if you would like it. Let me know where to send it. It’s GPL, so no problem distributing.

    There are several of us that are talking about trying to keep the Sweetcron project going. I don’t have a huge amount of time to work on it now, but have a couple of leads on people who might want to fork it. Hopefully that happens soon.

  • I have a somewhat customized copy of Teh blog ar (not) dead if you would like it. Let me know where to send it. It’s GPL, so no problem distributing.

    There are several of us that are talking about trying to keep the Sweetcron project going. I don’t have a huge amount of time to work on it now, but have a couple of leads on people who might want to fork it. Hopefully that happens soon.

  • Hey Chris,

    I’d be much obliged — an email is on its way! :)

  • Hey Chris,

    I’d be much obliged — an email is on its way!

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