The concept of lifestreaming has been around for several years now, but most of the Internet community has been slow to adopt the wide variety of available solutions. You’ve probably heard of services such as FriendFeed, Jaiku and Cliqset. However, you may not be aware there are a handful of solutions enabling you to have a lifestream within a blog environment.
Lifestreaming is the practice of collecting an online user’s disjointed online presence in one central location or site. Wikipedia
It’s fairly common for Internet users to have multiple social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and more. Unless there’s a specific reason to keep these accounts separate, it only makes sense to collect all of this data in one location for easy management and viewing. Here are 4 quick and easy ways you can create effective lifestreams using a blog.
Lockergnome.net is a new service offering from Chris Pirillo combining multiple WordPress plugins in order to make lifestreaming simple. What makes this a unique offering is the social integration. Lockergnome.net allows you to enjoy the benefits of a WordPress-driven environment, lifestream capabilities and new social connections. While the premium version enables you to have your own domain name, the free version is a great way to test the service and determine if it will be a good solution for your particular needs. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the each service.
- Archive your lifestream
- Ability to import/export data
- Social networking features
- Potential promotion of good content
Premium Version (from $12.77 per month)
- Personalized domain name and email
- Built in SEO friendly website & blog editor
- Automatic nightly backups
- No ads
- Hosting powered by Page.ly
Press 75 offers a very impressive looking lifestream theme for WordPress called Social Life. While the price may seem steep at $75, it includes professional design, basic customization and support. Since this is a theme, you must commit to their design parameters, but further customization is possible depending on your knowledge of the administrative tools built-in to WordPress. To see a demo site of this theme, click here.
Benefits of Social Life
- Offers a very attractive theme “out of the box”
- Intended for use on your own domain
- Left sidebar navigation is user friendly
- Documentation and support
WP Lifestream is a free WordPress plugin allowing you to add a lifestream to an existing blog. If you already have a blog or if you would like to add lifestreaming functionality to a new blog, then WP Lifestream is good solution. The biggest benefit of WP Lifestream is probably the fact that you can present your lifestream any way you like. Since it is not a theme or blog service you still have complete control over the blog itself. To see a demo site featuring this plugin, click here.
While Posterous isn’t a “traditional” lifestream service it offers a unique, free platform for both microblogging and updating your various social media accounts. The power of this service lies in the ability to syndicate your content across a wide variety of social accounts. When posting to Posterous, you have the option to update other accounts such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. For a nice example of how Posterous works as a lifestream, you should check out Steve Rubel’s blog.
Other Posterous benefits include:
- You can update your page simply by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attached images, pdf, audio and video files are automatically formatted and inserted into your entry
- Updating from a mobile phone is painless
- Group blogging is built in so you can have multiple people managing the content
- Setting up a site with Posterous takes seconds
- You have the option of using Posterous with your own URL
What are your thoughts? If you’re using another lifestream solution in a blog environment, please tell us about it in the comments section.