Six Apart product Movable Type recently announced the release of a new add-on application for users of their Movable Type Pro publishing platform. Motion is to a degree a product evolution of their original Activity Streams plugin which I covered earlier this year, but it offers some new interesting additions.
[Note, all of my findings are based on the Motion Demo site]
For one, they’ve laid the plumbing under the hood for support of various open authentication and 3rd party systems including OpenID, Google & Yahoo Accounts, Facebook Connect, and wordpress.com.
Secondly this isn’t just a plugin to offer a single Lifestream for your blog. It supports multiple accounts and mirrors the functionality of many Lifestreaming services. The home page displays the latest stream of items from all memebers of the site. The sidebar displays the avatars of all memebers, the most popular entries which appear to be based on the recency and number of comments for a given stream item. There’s also recent photos, and a tag cloud compiled from all the user data.
Creating a profile offers support for a whopping 77 services. The page then displays a Lifestream along with links to all the profiles of all the services that make it up. The service also allows offers the ability to follow other users as well as be followed and this information is displayed on the profile as well. You also have the ability to manually add a “quickpost”. This allows for a title and text with the option of adding an image, link, video, or audio file. You also have the option of tagging the post. Lastly, an RSS feed of recent activity is available and comments both generated and received are also listed on the profile.
Playing with the app showed a few bumps along the way. It only appears to archive the quickposts and not the stream items as I visited several profiles that only displayed one page of content. Adding some services required providing raw Ids which can be a bit of a pain. I was unable to add a website as a service and even when the addition errored out, the profile still added a bad entry to my profile. I also didn’t like that I couldn’t delete stream items from my feed which I discovered when adding my FriendFeed account (yes they support several Lifestreaming services) and when I decided to delete the account it didn’t remove the items either.
Even with these issues, it’s still a very powerful and flexible application that allows people to build their own Lifestream communities in a way that nobody else has provided to this degree as of yet. If they iron out the problems, add archiving and continue making it more robust, I can see this becoming a great platform.
You can visit my profile on the demo site here and play around in the sandbox over there on your own too. They state that it won’t be out until early 2009 but if you’re ready to try it out you can download a beta version here.