Create a Lifestreaming Portal Using UnHub

This is the first guest post from reader Trae Blain. You can visit his site at If you are interested in writing a guest post, just head on over to the contact page

unhubIn a sea of lifestreaming services, UnHub tries to distinguish itself from the other services by offer a simple portal into your online life. UnHub is a brand new player to the lifestreaming market that started out of inspiration from the Skittle’s brand experiment that used social media websites as its primary website.

The Gist

Unlike other lifestreaming services out there that aggregate your data into one common place, UnHub simply adds an iframe bar above all your online services with links that point to the services you add. Anyone can create an account—for anybody. Here’s Barack Obama’s UnHub as well as My (Trae Blain) UnHub. The service is extremely lightweight since it does not actually grab any of your data, but merely points people to the location of that data.


TechCrunch points out that this is a great tool for businesses that participate in social media, as illustrated in this Josie’s Restaurant Unhub. Personal and business use will also be fond of the simple analytics feature that is included with the service to see what links are clicked and what links nobody cares about.

In Practice

Usage is fairly easy. It asks you what services you use and what are the links to the profiles for those services. UnHub appears to support a large number of services (which would be expected with a service with such little overhead), 57 in fact. After creating an account you are asked for an email and password to associate with the account which allows you to view the Analytics feature. Each UnHub address requires a landing page to start with, and can easily be selected with the Home check box.


UnHub also allows for the selection of websites outside of the supported 57, although those sites won’t include a favicon in the top bar. UnHub is a nice service that can be leveraged by people/companies that want to use something like Twitter searches or any number of personal sites for their UnHub group.

Not all Peachy

UnHub does have its set of issues. Due to Twitters setup, UnHub does not work directly with it. Instead it substitutes Tweetree for Twitter updates profile viewing. Tweetree has a nice interface, but it’s not Twitter and could turn heavy Twitter users off to its use. Also, there’s no way to style your UnHub Bar. My UnHub uses a meager 15 services (only 26% of the ones offered) and the bar tends to push the other service’s content under the crease, Especially on low resolution monitors. Also, adding new services can be a chore. The “supported” services do not simply ask for your username and then it finds the appropriate link, the actual url must be entered into the form. Remembering some of these and tracking them down can sometimes be a pain. Also after the initial setup, you can only add one service at a time. It would be much easier to add multiple links before having to save the page.


To Sum it Up

UnHub offers a nice service that I believe many people would prefer in things like email signatures. UnHub provides the benefit of sending people directly to the content’s location (save Twitter), instead of aggregating it all into one place. It is a different approach to lifestreaming that some will find preferable over other methods commonly used today.

6 thoughts on “Create a Lifestreaming Portal Using UnHub”

  1. Hi Trae,

    Thanks so much for this feedback. I think we have most or all of it on our queue for the next release, but just to sum it up:

    – allow customization of your UnHub bar
    – easier profile identification (e.g., username only)
    – tighter layout for users with many links
    – ability to add multiple profiles with a single submit
    – develop a more elegant solution to Twitter (they block iframes – the primary tool we use to display the destination sites)

    Let me know if you'd like to see anything else. We're very excited about the service, profiles people have added to their UnHubs have been viewed over 75k times in less than a week.


    PS: though we're based in NYC, I grew up in Dallas. Good to hear from people in our space from DFW.

  2. Pingback: Create a Lifestreaming Portal Using UnHub (via Google Reader) | Consumer Electronics, Social Media, and the Digital Home

  3. Awesome, it looks like the next release will clean up some of the issues I had. I'm going to use this as a part of my email signature. Pointing to my lifestream doesn't do much justice to what I want due to the fact that sometimes I got days w/o posting a Delicious bookmark or love a song on Last.FM so it's nice to have a link front and center for people I email.


    Re you PS: Dallas is still going strong, but you'll need to come back every once in a while at least for the Mexican food. 😉

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