I’ve provided little nuggets of info sprinkled in many posts regarding my insights as to why I’ve always felt the Lifestreaming concept was great. What I’ve never done though, is provide a post telling others why they should be Lifestreaming as well.
When I first began covering Lifestreaming, there weren’t any services. In fact there were only a few plugins or scripts that were fairly difficult to setup allowing you to create a self hosted Lifestream. This really limited the scope of people creating them to a small number of tech savvy folks. Here we are just over a year later and anyone can create a rich Lifestream in 10 minutes.
As Lifestreaming has grown in popularity the number of people criticizing the reasoning for creating them has also grown. Many people just don’t get it while others feel it’s just a form of Narcicism which is just a grown up word for when we called people in high school conceited. These folks are just a bunch of haters. I’m here to try and provide several compelling reasons to shut them all up once and for all.
Reason #1 – You create a Lifetream for the benefit of others
Yes, Lifestreaming is done for the benefit of others. Before you break out a whatchya talkin’ bout Willis on me, let me explain. When we hang out with friends in the real world, we may talk about music we’re listening to, movies we’ve watched, places we’ve been, photos we’ve taken, videogames we’ve played, books we’ve read, ,what we’ve been up to and so much more. Lifestreaming offers the ability to create a digital form of this information. The beauty is that we now have many web services that can provide every piece of data in the real world scenario mentioned above. Once the web services are setup, the data is added automatically in a passive manner. Viewing others Lifestreams then become human powered recommendation engines. The data can also provide distant friends & family a window into our lives, or offer great up to date context for enriching conversations when we see them in the real world. These are just some methods that provide value to others.
Reason #2 – To build, control, and promote your online identity
Lifestreaming has become an amazing vehicle that has been turning people into brands. Lifestreaming allows you to paint the picture of who you are to others. You can promote your knowledge in an area filling the services that make up your Lifestream with the content you create and consume to reflect it. Soon enough you will gain readership as an expert in your field and grow a following. Lifestreaming can also be a great way to promote your business, product, blog, etc… If done correctly, this can become a very valuable tool in your social media arsenal.
Reason # 3 – Lifestreams have created a new subscription model
Ok here’s another major development that I believe is causing a paradigm shift. I was an early adopter when it came to RSS. I subscribed to, and consumed most of my information using an RSS reader. It was definitely my primary source for getting data from the web. Even so, it’s impossible to consume it all. We’ve seen some nice developments in services that are using algorithms to filter RSS content for us.
That’s pretty good, but I have now seen a shift where I’m spending more time reading Lifestreams than RSS feeds. Why is this? Because I now primarily subscribe to people instead of RSS feeds. The primary reason is that by building the right subscription recipe of people instead of RSS feeds, I’m now leveraging the ultimate human filtering algorithm to bring me the wisdom of the masses. By selectively following those who are sharing bookmarks, Tweets, RSS shared items, and more, for my areas of interest, I am increasing the chance of having creme of the crop content delivered to me. This shift is treating people as a valued commodity ahead of the content. Yes this is a new concept, but I think it’s starting to happen.
I also want to clarify that I’m not saying Lifestreams should replace reading RSS feeds. Just stating that I’m personally using the human filter before I make my way to an RSS reader. I have mad respect for RSS as it’s one of the essential platforms and was the primary catalyst enabling Lifestreams in the first place.
Reason #4 – Create a personal digital archive of your life
Lifestreams are becoming interactive digital diaries of our lives. While we still have a ways to go for this to become a reality, I see it coming. I can envision a future where I’m reminiscing about my past, going through my Lifestream and re-living old memories. You could locate notable dates in history to see what you were doing & what was on your mind. After we have passed, our great great grandchildren could get a much better understanding of who we were by navigating our historical Lifestream. I can see amazing future applications where you navigate a digital family tree and can drill down on individuals and then start navigating through their Lifestream.
Still not convinced?
Well these are just a few reasons that I could put some thought behind. I’m sure I’ll come up with more and continue updating the list.
Do you have a good reason why people should Lifestream? Post it in the comments and let others know why they should be doing this.