Why No Calendar UI for Lifestreams?

One of the features I’ve always wanted from a Lifestream is a calendar feature. What I’d like to see would be a standard calendar UI to be able to navigate and drill down through a Lifestream. This would offer the ability to easily find dates and ranges that I’d want to look for. This would be good for finding trips, birthdays, or to see what we documented for other milestones that occur in our lives.

So I decided to do a quick mockup of what this feature might look like if it was built for FriendFeed. I borrowed the Google calendar and then just dropped in some ways that you could navigate through it. I chose the full month view which would primarily offer text links, but perhaps the weekly view could offer some nice thumbnail visualizations of data.

My mockup of a possible FriendFeed Calendar UI

Sure there are great timeline based Lifestreaming services such as Dipity, Lifeblob, Allofme, but they don’t offer the standard UI I’m looking for. Now defunct service Swurl had a somewhat nice Calendar view but I’d want more from one than they offered. My custom Lifestream built using Life2front offers another interesting timeline view, but once again not a standard calendar UI. Hopefully this feature will be either added by FriendFeed or another service soon as I think many would really appreciate the calendar metaphor for navigation.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Hy Mark,

    it also could be done by converting your RSS stream to iCal format,
    and import that into a (non)public Google Calender.

    Don't know if someone offers this as a service,
    but a script for self-hoster can be found here:

    Thanks for your post! Joel

  2. I've been longing for months for something similar, but not exactly like the way you see it. I, too, use Google Calendar. I keep multiple calendars in there as if each item is tagged (events, holidays, personal, wife, etc are all shared, individual calendars). I know how to get the RSS feed for a calendar but it updates when something is added to the calendar, not when the event happens. In other words, I want a notification system available for each event via RSS. They already have pop-up reminders and email, etc. I want RSS so I can channel particular events or calendars into my lifestream when the event happens (or hours before), not when I enter it into the calendar months in advance.

  3. I hinted at hcalendar data here:


    But my emphasis for calendar data wasn't to look back, it was to look *forward*.

    Calendar data can be a lesser part of an activity stream, but to dedicate the presentation layer in that framework is a mistake, IMHO. Activities have a very high level of immediacy ( @tantek calls it “The Now” ), data goes stale, what I did six months ago, has little bearing on what I am doing right now.

  4. Todd, perhaps you misunderstood. I'm not discussing importing calendar data into my Lifestream. I want a calendar UI to help me navigate my existing Lifestream. Right now if I want to find an older post of mine on FriendFeed my only tool to find it is search. This is not an effective way of finding data I'm trying to find for a specific time period.

    Also, I don't understand the mindset you discuss of an activity stream having no value from historic data. Why does past data become stale and require bearing on the present? I really enjoy looking back and reflecting on the past in my Lifestream.

  5. It's funny you mentioned about calendar and lifestreaming. I'm currently working on making my capstone thesis demo project into the real thing but will be incorporating lifestreaming aspects as well as info vis techniques to display various data. Here's a link to the calendar demo I made: http://www.capstone.iciskaye.com/sundial/

    Happy 4th everyone!

  6. I like the mockup – would certainly be useful on FriendFeed.

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Mark Krynsky

I created Lifestream Blog and hope you enjoy the site. I'm always looking for contributors so contact me if you're interested. You can follow the rest of what I like to write about at my personal site or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+
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