Should People Kill Their Blogs in Favor of Lifestreaming?

At the end of last week, Steve Rubel (a popular PR blogger) made big waves when he announced that he was replacing his blog with a Lifestream. Steve is just the latest convert to come to this decision. There has been a  long line of folks proclaiming that the blog is dying in favor of the Lifestream. In my end of year roundup for 2008 I highlighted several of those that were predicting the transiton. This included ReadWriteWeb, Wired, and Yongfook who is the author of the popular SweetCron Lifestreaming software.

Lets get this out of the way quickly. While I may be one of the biggest Lifestreaming evangelists cheerleaders out there, I still would never consider killing my blog in favor of Lifestreaming. My initial love affair with Lifestreaming was due to the efficiency and elegance of providing content I created using multiple external web services. But for the most part I have a Lifestream to share a rich online diary that I can also use to reflect upon my past. But my Lifestreaming is only one method for how I want to tell stories whereas blogging provides a different one.

So why are many replacing their blogs with Lifestreaming? I think prior to the advent of Lifestraming and its tools many people created blogs with the sole purpose of providing a diary. In this case, I think it makes total sense to make the swtich. But this is only a portion of the blogging population. So what else is fueling this movement? I believe its a combination of several factors that are either individually or combined making it compelling.

Here’s a few:

  • Lifestreaming tools and services have gotten very good
  • Mobile apps provide great functionality for creating and posting Lifestreaming content
  • The popularity of Twitter and other micro blogging services have consumed folks
  • Facebook has turned into a Lifestreaming platform
  • The advent of the real-time web has transformed user behavior (being quick and first has become more important than anything)
  • Quanity has appeared to have trumped quality (volume! volume! volume!)
  • People are embracing the lazy web

It appears that Steve’s conversion has really struck a chord and possibly become a wake up call for many folks. Robert Scoble who has been continously harassed about spending too much time using Twitter and FriendFeed and having neglected his long form went in the opposite direction stating his need to return to blogging. Louis Gray wrote a post stating that your blog is the foundation of all your activity which I fully agree with. I’ve had krynsky.com since 1998 and it will probably continue to be my main hub forever. Jeremiah Owyang also provided some good insight into Steve’s move along with the details of the ribbing he gave Scoble.

I read many more reactions out there on Steve’s announcement, but of all the banter I found, my favorite commentary came from Stuart Foster. He wrote a nice piece of which I fully agree with the following:

I’m not discounting any medium of communication. I’m merely urging those with interesting thoughts not to limit themselves to a more concise medium. Lifestreams are a great supplement to your blog and other long form thoughts. They should not be a replacement.

You can read some more of Steve’s subsequent posts on his switch to Lifestreaming which include:

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Lifestreaming is all about complacency. I admit — I rarely blog anymore. But I rely on others who do. Complacency will kill the internets – we'll all be singing Row row row your boat in rounds if life is but a stream.

  2. yes & no. If your blog is about you & your adventures then yes, give it up & lifestream(though I don't particularly like that buzzword)

    if you're writing about a topic, & there's minimal personfication, then no. I read a lot of different blogs, which I don't think would be as interesting or as easy to follow if they were spread out all over the place. (E.g., foodie, storage, travel)

  3. I'm glad you addressed this because I've been mulling this over in my mind for a long time. I agree that the blog shouldn't be erased or replaced with lifestreaming. I also agree that if you just had a blog as a diary of life then a lifestream is most likely ok. But I also think that the average everyday blogger should evolve as well. Blog sites that cover news/tech/music/politics/etc. are great they way they are being run, with these microblogging tools like Twitter supplementing their work. I also praise Scoble for his return to his long format blog, as that was how he got his following and what they want to read. Rubel's decisions to the short format may bite him in the end.

    I also have a little problem with Rubel's choice of “Lifestream” for his new format. Looking at his Posterous site, I see it more as a short format blog (ie tumblelog -esque) than a true lifestream. It's my opinion that people that blog for the sake of blogging, or just because they enjoy the writing, or just for whatever should move to the short format style. Just like Rubel's Posterous or anyone's Tumblr. It's not only easier for people to digest, but it's easier to keep active and it sill allows you to post the long format posts from time to time. (But that's just my opinion…hehe) Rubel's so-called “lifestream” is just that, a mini-blog, a tumblelog, or a short format blog. It does not fit the definition of a lifestream. I know it's nit picky, but it sort of annoys me.

    Keep up the good work, Mark!

  4. I think it would be boring

  5. I consider this blog to be one of the leading authorities in the world of lifestreaming, and in the about page, Mark defines lifestreaming as a “chronological aggregated view of your life activities both online and offline.”

    Based on that definition, I don't think you're being nit picky in the least. Rubel is an active Twitter user. He has a healthy, active set of Delicious bookmarks and leaves comments on other blogs. Posterous does not aggregate any of those activities, let alone any music Rubel listens to or video he watches. By Krynsky's definition, Rubel's new format is not a lifestream at all.

  6. I consider this blog to be one of the leading authorities in the world of lifestreaming, and in the about page, Mark defines lifestreaming as a “chronological aggregated view of your life activities both online and offline.”

    Based on that definition, I don't think you're being nit picky in the least. Rubel is an active Twitter user. He has a healthy, active set of Delicious bookmarks and leaves comments on other blogs. Posterous does not aggregate any of those activities, let alone any music Rubel listens to or video he watches. By Krynsky's definition, Rubel's new format is not a lifestream at all.

  7. I consider this blog to be one of the leading authorities in the world of lifestreaming, and in the about page, Mark defines lifestreaming as a “chronological aggregated view of your life activities both online and offline.”

    Based on that definition, I don't think you're being nit picky in the least. Rubel is an active Twitter user. He has a healthy, active set of Delicious bookmarks and leaves comments on other blogs. Posterous does not aggregate any of those activities, let alone any music Rubel listens to or video he watches. By Krynsky's definition, Rubel's new format is not a lifestream at all.

  8. Trae / Kevin, after watching Steve's use of Posterous over the last few weeks I agree with both of you that Steve really hasn't utilized the service as a true Lifestream. He pretty much has been using it as a blog without any additional streams from any of his profiles on other services such as Twitter or Delicious. I think perhaps he moved to it and calls it more of a Lifestream based on the publishing toolset that Posterous offers. I have found several other people that seem to be using Posterous more as a Lifestream including Zee Kane: http://zee.posterous.com/ Guy Kawasaki: http://holykaw.com/ and Jason Calacanis: http://jasoncalacanis.posterous.com/ so it can definitely be used that way.

  9. I think at the minimum,a lifestreaming service could be considered as a blog CMS, especially for folks who are just getting into most other Web 2.0 services. As you say, it's simpler, more elegant and the mobile element has tremendous potential.

  10. such a good post..

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