Directory of Lifestreaming

I probably should lump all these into the Directory of Attention, but I’m not going to.

Don’t look for a definition of lifestreams on Wikipedia, because it will take you to a Final Fantasy VII page. The term actually goes back to at least 1997, when Eric Freeman and David Gelernter saw it “as a network-centric replacement for the desktop metaphor. As their project page (last updated in 2000) at Yale put it:

A lifestream is a time-ordered stream of documents that functions as a diary of your electronic life; every document you create and every document other people send you is stored in your lifestream.

They in turn say they got it from David Gelernter’s “chronicle streams.” Web 2.0 has picked up the ball and run with it, redefining it on the way. As Mark Krynsky, creator of the Lifestreamblog points out, the lifestream is now called lots of different things:

The blog defines the lifestream thus: “In its simplest form it’s a chronological aggregated view of your online activities.” I wouldn’t quarrel with that, although of course it’s no longer purely about online activities. Indeed, Jaiku and Twitter have made it easy, indeed desirable, to add more data to your stream than just the when, including

  • where (location via Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS)
  • how (how updating: via SMS? GPS? web?)
  • what (you’re feeling/ doing/ eating/ listening to/ watching/ using/ reading/ browsing/ writing/ photographing/ commenting on)
  • with (other people, things, animals, tools/equipment)
  • while (listening to music etc)

Tools to build lifestreams: There’s a great list here, again, from the excellent lifestreamblog. Basically they can be divided into the meta data that is added without your input and that which you consciously enter (upload photos, adding data, commentary via Twitter etc).

To those I’d add a few more:

Needless to say, the only services that survive will be those that

  • can easily import and export all kinds of streams
  • add a little something more than just gathering together streams
  • work on all platforms, at the computer and away from it

More suggestions etc welcome.

How To Cut A Long URL Short

(This post was originally made a few months ago at the loose wire blog. As part of efforts to streamline Loose Wire’s online activities, the material at loose wire cache is being moved to the blog. A list of the resources can be under either the Resources list in the sidebar or the Resources category, also in the sidebar.)

A way to turn long URLs into short ones, so you can paste links into emails without them wrapping (and therefore becoming unusable) etc etc. In most cases you just visit the site, enter the URL you want to abbreviate, and hey presto! you get a new short URL that should last forever. (A lot of them can be added to your browser toolbar via Javascript which makes the whole thing even easier.)


This is not yet exhaustive; much of this list is from, which compares their features.