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Lifestreams - The New Social Media Buzzword

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#1 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 01 March 2008 - 10:58 AM

Lifestreaming - new buzz word

I guess we should first attempt to define the term Lifestream. While trying to come up with my own definition, I found one on Word Spy, which reads:

Lifestream: An online record of a person's daily activities, either via direct video feed or via aggregating the person's online content such as blog posts, social network updates, and online photos.

Some examples of lifestreaming services?

The one you are probably most familiar with is MyBlogLog, which just recently changed our MBL profile pages to include a lifestream (aggregate) list of all our social profiles. You can expand the list of services aggregated by clicking on the Add Service link in the My Sites and Services block.

A new service that seems to be gaining quick popularity is FriendFeed (probably because it was started by some ex-Googlers).

One that's been around a little longer, but I'm not sure how popular it is, is Wink.

I've also noticed that Plaxo has gotten into the lifestreaming thing with its Pulse feature.

Someone has created a blog about lifestreaming, appropriately named Lifestream Blog, so that might be a good way to find the other lifestreaming services that we aren't already aware of.

Ok, so where do we go from here? Not only are we inundated with social networks that we try to join and keep up with, but now we have multiple lifestreaming sites that aggregate all the social network streams. Will we eventually end up with one Uber-Streaming site that aggregates all the lifestream aggregators?

How do we keep up with it all? These are just some open-ended thoughts that have been racing through my head in the last few days, and I'd love to hear some of your thoughts about it.

Have you even noticed the lifestreaming services yet? If so, have you signed up to any? Once you signed up, have you actually used them regularly or was it sign up and forget? Any comments on which ones might be the ones to pay the most attention to?

#2 bwelford


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Posted 01 March 2008 - 01:38 PM

I guess I was seeing signs of this around but it had not come into clear focus for me. Thanks for providing that focus, Donna.

Since this is pulling together all the different virtual existences in one place, it's almost as if you are creating a Second Life. Given the prevalence of identity theft, I guess that's my first instinctive reaction. Can this be used by those who wish you ill?

#3 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 01 March 2008 - 02:03 PM

I don't think so, Barry, unless of course you are publishing your important info such as social security number, etc. to places like Twitter, Facebook, etc., and presumably you aren't.

Now, certainly reputation management might come into play here, but again, these lifestreams are simply aggregating the things you've already posted elsewhere, so if you post things that will hurt your reputation there, then they'll also show up in the lifestreams.

Of course, if I'm not thinking of something, do let me know.

#4 Ruud


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Posted 01 March 2008 - 07:18 PM

I'm a data geek. I like the whole concept of lifestreaming as it pertains to automatically capturing and storing Your Life.

That idea of lifestreaming is more along the line of lifecasting, maybe.

Lifestreaming as done automatically by FriendFeed or manually via something like Tumblr is, to me, more about aggregation of online activity. If every service that you use has an RSS feed you can achieve the same with something like Google Reader.

And I do; not for myself but for some people I follow. In Google Reader I see their new posts, Tweets and Flickr photos all in one place. That too is my answer to the "where do we go from here" question: aggregated online activity is just a collection of "stuff" the same way your collection of other RSS feeds is.

How do we keep up with it all?

*That* is an interesting question to me.

The way *I* see lifestreaming (life capturing) the goal is an automated record. And that record can serve *you* as a reminder, a "oh, what was it I said?" tool. It can serve your kids as a way to go back and lookup what *really* happened that Christmas they were 7 and the tea pot fell down. It's bookmarks, visual clues and reminders on steroids.

What we see now are good beginnings.

Steve Rubel has a good intro post on the current idea of lifestreaming: Identity Through Online Lifestreams

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