A few months back I blogged about the need for tools that allow us to aggregate and disseminate content to the Web.
As we become indundated by ever increasing information flows, it makes sense that we organize the data into coherent streams.
Lifestreaming differs from a blog. In a lifestream widgets and applications collect together that author’s content, from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and wherever, and present in one place. According to Sarah Perez on ReadWriteWeb, “Lifestreaming is a new way of documenting the activities surrounding your life using a chronologically-ordered collection of information.” Perez cites the example of Julia Allison, whose blog is “no more than a short collection of photos, videos, copy-and-pasted emails, random thoughts, links, and general over-sharing.”
Recently, some bloggers have adopted this “life-streaming” concept as an extension or evolution of the typical blog. According to some, “blogging is dead.” Darren Rowse, author of the popular Problogger, asked “Should I Quit Blogging?” in a July 1 article. Steven Rubel, head of interactive at Edelman, disavowed blogging altogether, moving his content onto a dedicated lifestream platform Posterous. (Incidently, it took me a while to track down Rubel’s lifestream. You can find it here.)
So is Perez’s cynicism justified, or are we looking at the future of communications?
Are blogs dead? Not necessarily. Lifestreaming offers a mode of communication which people will use as they need. It won’t suit every consumer or every creator. But most likely, it will grow its own niche and rank with blogs, Twitter as a mainstream format for presenting information.
One area of practice that needs improvement is on privacy settings. Each tool has its own system, so a user cannot readily manage his or her preferences in one place.
Developers may develop a tool that can do that, but such a tool will not be useful until external applications (Facebook, et al.) adopt a standard format for users to configure their privacy settings.
Other example lifestreams (or blogs that so label themselves):
- Top 3 Lifestreaming Tools that are Ready for Prime Time
- Steve Rubel: It’s Official: I am Moving from Blogging to Lifestreaming
- Slideshare: The New Future of Blogging