If you haven’t already heard of Dandelife it’s a self described “Social Biography Network”. The site provides a platform that allows you to tell stories about your life in posts that are tied to the dates that they occurred. They also have leveraged existing sites allowing you to compliment your post with photos (from Flickr) and videos (from Youtube). Then these stories are all displayed in an interactive timeline. This functionality although pretty neat, wasn’t really a platform that lent itself to the Lifestreaming concept…until now.
Kelly Abbott is the Sy Sperling of the web world. He isn’t just the co-founder of Dandelife but he’s also the most active member. He’s someone who is very passionate about his endeavor and is clearly someone who takes the voice of his community to heart. I was familiar with Dandelife prior to my adventure discovering the Lifestream concept. Lifecasting (the term used by Dandelife) is just a more organized form for collecting Life experiences in a structured package. So with some similarities as well as his active role in the web community, I wasn’t surprised to find a comment from Kelly at Jeremy’s original Lifestream post discussing plans to add similar functionality to Dandelife. Well that was November 8th of last year and he has just recently announced details regarding what’s coming and man does it look good.
The new functionality called “Dandelife Streams” brings true Lifestreaming functionality to the site. You are provided a new setup screen where you can add feeds by providing account details for several pre-configured sites including Flickr, Youtube, Del.icio.us, Ma.gnolia, Last.fm, & Twitter. You can also manually add feeds as well. One added distinction for the manually added feeds is the ability to flag them as either “headline” or “personal”. Personal would be for more personally generated content from sites that aren’t pre-configured such as alternatives to the pre-configured ones such as Jaiku, Vimeo, Librarything, etc. Headlines could be used to pull current events from a news feed or other source. And lastly if you have a Twitter account you can configure Dandelife to create a Tweet every time you add a new story.
Once completing your configuration you will have your most recent streams displayed on your home page and there is a new navigation ribbon added below the current one specifically for the streams. By clicking on the “My streams” button you get a familiar aggregate view of all the streams by day and then sorted by feed type. You also have the ability to filter by specific streams by clicking on the appropriate link from the navigation bar.
The distinction here is that while the original “story” functionality requires active creation of content, the streams will be passively pulling in your activity from the sites you configure. The clever way in which they bridge the streams to the foreground (and I imagine consequently added to the timeline) is by allowing a user to click on any of the content imported and then actively create a story for it.
All of this new functionality will be a great addition for existing users and should definitely attract many new ones. To say I’m excited about the possibilities with this new functionality being added is an understatement. 2007 appears to be a breakout year for Lifestreaming with additional sites like Jaiku, Tumblr, and more on the horizon. As they begin to enter the web mainstream, Dandelife could be a site leading the charge. I’m just hoping that beyond the minor evolution of their stream implementation, they develop ways to revolutionize it.