Life is But a Stream: Why I Do Less Blogging and More (hyper)streaming

I’ve been blogging my heart out for almost five years now. Ever since I started I’ve pretty much blogged every day (see my archive). It’s a discipline I tried to maintain. I love sharing information. In return, I’m rewarded with good karma in the form of online friends and reciprocal links and information.

However, in the past few weeks, my attention had shifted away from blogging. This shift is reflected on my latest site re-design and my switch to WordPress (see Swallowed my blog in a single gulp!). This shift happened when I signed up on Friendfeed and bought an iPhone. For instance, I’ve never used Twitter that much until I had an iPhone. SMS is very expensive here in the U.S. and mobile web browsing was a joke until mobile Safari (via iPhone) came along. Since then my blogging had slowed down, but my microblogging and FF activities exploded with a whole lotta linking!

My original intention with my blog is for personal expression and to share information. But since my attention bandwidth is limited, I find myself doing more streaming than actual blogging. That’s when I decided to shift my focus from blogging to (hyper)streaming.

An aside: I had a discussion on Friendfeed the other day. Someone suggested to get rid of the word “blog.” I think the word blog would continue to stick, and rightly so. “Lifestreaming” is the latest buzzword. Lifestreaming sounds hip. But I agree that aggregation is not lifestreaming. That’s why I coined my own term, (hyper)streaming, wherein (hyper) can be anything you want to stream.

But this doesn’t mean that I will no longer be blogging my heart out. In fact, I’ll be blogging more consciously. Instead of short bursts of blog entries, I’ll reserve my blog for longer posts–more focused distillation of the ideas, information, and opinion accumulated from my (hyper)streaming activity with some sprinkle of personal reflection.

Life is but a stream…

The next challenge is how to incorporate streaming activities into one’s site. Will it be self-hosted or will it be via a lifestreaming service?

For a self-hosted solution, WordPress users can use the Lifestream WP plugin. I gave it a try. It works great. I love the date-based aggregation, feed grouping, and customization. I’d recommend it to anyone who prefers total control of their streaming content.

As for lifestreaming services, there are a number of competing services out there (e.g. Socialthing, Strands [currently on beta]). However, I choose to ride with Friendfeed. Other lifestreaming services have better filtering options and interface, but the thing that attracted me most to Friendfeed is my interaction with a network of intelligent and conscientious users. This is reflected by the quality of comments and shared contents I see on the site every day. That’s why I’ve decided to incorporate Friendfeed on the main page of my site.

I even created a dedicated (hyper)stream page:

Why do I prefer a lifestream service than a self-hosted lifestream? Simple. It’s the social aspect. As I’ve mentioned in a Friendfeed discussion on Lifestream, it boils down to the primary intention of the user. Self-hosted lifestreams work best if the user is more focused on building a personal aggregated online presence (e.g. for purposes of personal branding, online resume, etc.). But if the primary intention is to connect with other “lifestreamers” elsewhere, then Friendfeed (or similar) services is the way to go. I find that comments and likes add spice and more value to my stream. There’s more serendipity that way.

That said, it’s a gamble to pick which service would outlast the others. Although I feel safe with Friendfeed, I’m glad that I can always activate my Lifestream WP plugin with a mouse click.

That’s all for now. Now excuse me while I hyperfocus on (hyper)streaming.

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