Drowning in social media content? Lifestreaming might just float your boat

After all, life is more like a flowing stream than a series of blogs splashed in your face, right?

After all, life is more like a flowing stream than a series of blogs splashed in your face, right?

Ok, I’ll stop myself now before going crazy on the “stream” puns here. If you haven’t already heard, lifestreaming is the new blogging.

What is lifestreaming, you ask? It’s a way to pull all that content you’re posting in a million different places (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, oh my!) into one beautiful stream. See a great description from ReadWriteWeb the Wikipedia definition here, and its semi-official blog here.

Please note a special exception: Lifestreaming is NOT lifecasting (see video illustration)…those are two very different beasts. Lifecasting has largely gone out of mode, which I think we can all agree is a great development. People have realized that it is extremely difficult to maintain newsworthy activity every moment of your life.**

**Caveat: iJustine is an exception…people will watch her do just about ANYTHING!

Lifestreaming is about putting the conversation front and center–which after all, is the whole point of social media. Its advocates say it is the wave of the future (I lied, the puns just keep floating to the surface!). Compared to blogging (gulp, yes, I see the hypocrisy) it does feel more natural. You are already sharing links with friends via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and other media, so why not congregate all that content in one happy place?

conversation

It's all about the conversation

Just Sept. 8, MediaBistro, the go-to site for journalists to hear inside-industry news, created a lifestream of user content. (See opening post here) I would love major media organizations to do the same. People who write in to newspapers often have incredibly insightful and interesting comments (my favorite example of the people’s collective wit here). This would be a great way to better connect with an audience and let them know that their voices matter.

Another use for lifestreaming is its very streamlined nature. Using tools like Posterous you can pull content from all the sites you regularly visit and then export it back out again. Or if you prefer, you can send your content straight to your lifestream and syphon it off to your favorite spots. See a brilliant graph of this here.

That said, I don’t think we should all abandon the blogging ship (that’s pun # seven, if you’re counting) and take on lifestreaming. I see value in both.

Blogging is better:

  • For those who work to focus on a specific topic (like me, I keep my lunch box musings in an entirely separate space)
  • For sites that hope to establish the impression of editorial credibility (e.g. my all-time favorite women’s blog)
  • For people who want to compartmentalize their lives. You may want to share more personal content with friends on Facebook, but be willing to blast your Twitter followers every few minutes with the latest item to catch your eye. Your blog may be reserved for musings that are truly unique and worthy of extra time. Honestly, that is the way I work, and I’m not sure I’d want to change it.

Am I missing any major points here? Educate me in the comments section below!

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7 Responses to Drowning in social media content? Lifestreaming might just float your boat

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