Lifestreaming Increases Chances of Serendipity

Today I created a sequence of events that gives one example of how Lifestreaming can facilitate acts of Serendipity. I was pretty busy today but was finally able to sit down at the comp and catch up on stuff. I headed over to Twhirl so I could see what folks were talking about today. Below is the sequence of events that followed.

I come across this Tweet from Richard MacManus:


He follows it up with a link to the interview Dave Winer did with Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read Write Web. I listen to the interview where they discuss FriendFeed and other Lifestreaming functionality in general. Near the end I hear them discuss about how they wish FriendFeed would export OPML files for the people they’re subscribed to.

After listening to the interview I post this Tweet:

link to

I then log into FriendFeed and see this comment from co-founder Brett Taylor:


I then send this info to Dave:


Dave then sends this out:


And later on, Brett Taylor visits Dave’s post about the interview and leaves a comment based off my original Tweet.

So basically it appears that FriendFeed has a few un-documented features. The first allows you to export all the feeds from a profile as OPML by appending “?output=opml” to the end of a user page. The second is outputting subscriptions as a FOAF file by appending “/subscriptions?output=foaf” to the end of a user page. Below are examples for mine.

One of Twitter’s biggest draws is the instantaneous flow and live streaming of information. People have become so accustomed to this, that by using a Lifestream you can now provide mulitple sources of interesting data, thus increasing your reach exponentially. It really does broaden the landscape quite a bit.

All of these events occurred within several hours today. This hasn’t been my first encounter with Serendipity from Lifestreaming, and I’m sure it won’t be my last. But this turn of events was so interesting as I watched it unfold that I thought it would be fun to share.

Oh yea, you didn’t think I would let Richard’s first Tweet go un-noticed did you?

link is to Lifestreaming: a ReadWriteWeb Primer

To which Richard replied:


Phew, I’ve been worrying about being forgotten with all the hoopla generated by Louis Gray 🙂

6 thoughts on “Lifestreaming Increases Chances of Serendipity”

  1. It’s great to be engaged. One of the major reasons I gravitate toward those services I do is because of the interactivity with the developers and having transparency, with the ability to make change or to get answers. Twitter and FriendFeed are great examples.

    As for hoopla, I wouldn’t worry all that much. There will be peaks and valleys, not just for you and me, but for each of these services and communities.

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