The Year in Lifestreaming for 2010

Cheers to You!

So before I started to think about how Lifestreaming evolved in 2010 I went back to read what I wrote about 2009. Sadly enough I’d say that I almost feel the exact same way. Lifestreaming, or what this site originally set out to cover, as the act of aggregating content from multiple services in a single location, has pretty much died with regards to new services being released. The only two that I can really point to that launched were About.me which I wrote about and Memolane which I have yet to review. Meanwhile Cliqset, which I’d rank as the top site that was also very feature rich and built on multiple standards compliant technologies, shut down. Also, Google Buzz which was a hopeful service has languished and isn’t even relevant anymore.

Why do I think this has happened? Well primarily I believe that the hotbed that once was creating personal aggregation sites beginning in 2007 started a deep decline in 2009 and has all but vanished now in 2010. The attention now has mostly shifted to location based services and the mobile market. There are some sparkles of Lifestreaming appearing in some of these areas. Memento is an app that demonstrates this. I also think that many people, including myself, have decided to try and consolidate the number of services we use and try to focus on where the largest community of our friends hang out for us to engage them. Facebook and Twitter have become the two dominant places for this.

The one bright spot when it comes to Lifestreaming that I’m happy is starting to emerge are the apps and services being released to help us consume the data we generate.  One of the first of these such services, and my longtime favorite, is Twitter Times which continues to be a daily stop for me. Flipboard‘s release was a huge success for consuming social news on the iPad, but I’ve begun to spend a much more time on it with their latest release. I was both happy and surprised that they added support for Google Reader along with Flickr and the ability to offer deep integration with these services along with Twitter and Facebook. But while Flipboard provides a nice visual representation primarily showing me the most recent content, I’ve also added My6sense to my consumption routine which I connect to the same streams of data and it learns from my reading behavior which is the most relevant content to serve up to me. Each of these services take different approaches towards coming through data to determine how and why to display it to me. This isn’t an easy nut to crack and there may not be a definitive answer on best practices.

I find this area of mining data for the most relevant content to me probably the most interesting ones to follow. I personally seem to like Twitter Times approach the best where content is not only being filtered by my social graph but also prioritized based on the largest number of people that are sharing similar content. If you want to read more about the varying data relevance models, Mahendra Palsule has done a great job covering it. I recommend reading his post on The Evolution from Numbers to Relevance as well as Mapping Startups & Services Filtering For Relevance In A Matrix where you will also find other services in this area.

So what else? Well with the decline of Lifestreaming related services my blogging output shrunk somewhat this year but I’ve also began to cover other areas. I became interested in the emergence of services that are trying to calculate influence like Klout and Peerindex and wrote about them as well as Backtype. The release of several services that help us curate social media content also made a big splash and I’ve enjoyed using them. I also talked about the importance of the check-in which continued to be huge this year. I think probably one of the biggest impacts this year was the proliferation of the Facebook “Like” button and I wrote about its impact as a social gesture as well as how we’ve started to move from Lifestreams to Likestreams. Also going back to my thoughts on social media content consumption I tried to detail what my dream content reader would look like. A few days ago I wrote about Lifelogging and The Quantified Self. While this could be considered a niche of Lifestreaming I think it’s one that’s prime for really starting to take off and will probably be watching this closer and covering it as well.

If you’re still here reading then I just want to say thank you for making Lifestream Blog a place to learn about and hopefully gain insight into web services. I really enjoy writing but it’s a lot more fun when I know somebody is reading it and contributing their thoughts as well. I look forward to continuing to cover the areas discussed here and many new ones next year. Thanks for visiting!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. I appreciate your post for its honesty. Since you’re regarded as a kind of guru of lifestreaming and perhaps your claim to fame, I might have expected you to continue to hype it.

    Facebook and Twitter are probably the places most people use to consolidate their information today. They are all right for the social aspect of lifestreaming, but may not be ideal as a repository to archive information. Yesterday I discovered pinboard.in (basically a bookmarking service) which may be a reasonable place to do this, since it consolidates links from Google Reader and Twitter, and is also supposed to archive tweets. It’s still a bit early for me to recommend Pinboard, but other people do.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Howard. As far as archiving or backing up our social media data…I’ve written about that as well. I only recently became familiar with Pinboard.in as it was mentioned as an alternative to Delicious. I’ll have to check it out.

  3. The service Memento to which you referred is actually called mOmento. I just started using it and like it very much.

    For some strange reason, I went to check http://lifestream.DrThomasHo.com and discovered that I still had that pointed to FriendFeed of all places. With most services integrating with Twitter, it seems that my tweetstream is actually the best representation of MY lifestream so I’m really in a quandary about what to use for my lifestream at this point. Whether or not it’s still a big part of my personal brand, I want to track what I am doing because I’m so afraid that I’m leaving lots of “loose ends” because I’m so scattered. Like you, I have focused my efforts on Twitter and Facebook, but the creation of new services keeps tugging at me! Of course, that adds to my frustration because these new services probably aren’t supported by any lifestreaming service because of the sorry state of the lifestreaming market.

    In any case, my lifestream is for ME whether or not anyone else cares about it which I doubt that they do! What are YOU using for your lifestream service these days? I discovered that Shawn Morton hasn’t updated Profilactic in a long time and frankly, I wasn’t aware of the services which you mentioned in this post.

    Although I haven’t been as pre-occupied with lifestreaming for some time, it’s to YOUR credit that I came HERE when it occurred to me. Like you, I have been spending a lot more time and effort on curating content so I’ll go see what you’ve had to say about curation.

    Again, thanks for the RockMelt invite although I’ve been disappointed with its performance for anything but Facebook chat which I’ve been doing much more lately as well.

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