2 New Lifestreaming Services – Natuba and afeeda
I came across not just one but two new Lifestreaming services the other day which I think continues the trend that I predicted would make Lifestreaming reach a tipping point in 2007. But I won’t dwell on my Nostradamus like abilities with regards to web predictions…on to the services.
Natuba is currently an invite only service that I was lucky enough to quickly get access to. The first thing I noticed when setting up my account is how elegant the interface was. I quickly added a few feeds and took a look at my page and it immediately reminded me of an older player in this space called Suprglu. The two aim to make your Lifestream page aesthetically pleasing with the ability to choose from pre-made templates and added ability to generate custom CSS for your page.
A handful of pre-determined common services are supported including Youtube, Twitter, Flickr, Photobucket, and most of the blogging platforms available. You can also add your own RSS feeds as well. Once your page has been created there is a floating customization palette that you can use to edit the attributes of each individual item on your page. This service was definitely created with the designer in mind and it shows.
Although the homepage displays a cool live scrolling ticker of feed items as they are added, the site is geared more towards using it to provide an external URL to share your Lifestream with as opposed to having more social features with the ability to browse other users pages, add friends etc. This will be an interesting one to watch as it progresses to a full release.
I have several invites for you loyal Lifestream Blog readers so if you are interested you need to be a member of #Lifestream at Jaiku Channels and simply ask for one in the comments of this post.
afeeda takes a very different approach in that it provides for various ways to aggregate feeds in a social manner by wrapping them into categories. They promote 3 specific categories which are Personal Feeds which is what you would use to create a Lifestream, Group Feeds to aggregate feeds around a certain topic, and Event Feeds to generate content around a specific conference or event. These 3 categories are just filtered labels which act as forced placeholders as the functionality for each of them is identical. They are just basically showing some top methods for using the functionality which is a good thing. Sometimes you have to spoon-feed technology to certain groups. You can also create as many aggregated feeds as you want for each of the categories.
One of the coolest things I found when setting up my account was the ability to import feeds from an OPML file…Yaaaay! Since I test and review so many services I happen to have one of these handy but as of yet had not been able to utilize it for any of the existing services but this was my lucky day. Definitely a feature for the geek crowd but I welcome it as my Lifestream continues to grow and it becomes time consuming to add all of my feeds to new and existing services. So in went my OPML file and out came all my feeds without any errors….(in my best Borat voice) Very Nice!
As you add feeds you can assign them labels which can then be used later to filter the output of the aggregated feed. They also offer a Bookmarklet to allow for adding sources to your feeds as you surf the web. One drawback is that it doesn’t archive the feed items. It just provides a real-time polled view as well as an aggregated feed which you can then add to your own feed reader. It also provides an OPML file export of the feeds used that make up the Lifestream. Another nice touch.
Overall I like some of the unique features provided here and the clean interface and speedy server responsiveness. The service is definitely worth a look.