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January 07, 2009

Lifestreaming is the New Black

Firehose I'm a lifestreamer. Are you?

WordSpy defines lifestream as "an online record of a person's daily activities, either via direct video feed or via aggregating the person's online content such as blog posts, social network updates, and online photos." A lifestreamer is one who maintains a lifestream.

David Armano wrote last year "the premise of Lifestreaming interests me primarily because it speaks to a basic human need. The need to make sense of our lives. The need to simplify the complex—and make it meaningful." (His entire post on the topic is worth a read - it includes one of his neat-o diagrams and his own ideas about lifestreaming.)

Last week Wired Magazine listed Lifestreaming as one of 6 New Web Technologies of 2008 You Need to Use Now. (via the Lifestream Blog):

"Sites like FriendFeed, Plaxo Pulse and Digsby serve as social-network-activity aggregators. They’re like virtual funnels. Dump in all the notifications, feeds and updates from your various networks, and the services will bring it all into one master stream, relieving you of the responsibility of visiting a dozen or more sites to learn what your friends are up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re snogging and so on. Controls let you dial back the flow by sorting and filtering the flow, pruning it down to only what matters most."

People aggregate all kinds of online activities into their lifestreams. For example, I aggregate Google Reader, my blog, Delicious, Flickr, and Last.fm into my lifestream using Tumblr. (I also use the social sharing features of Tumblr itself to reblog cool content from other Tumblr users.) In turn, I aggregate my Tumblr feed plus my loved songs at Last.fm and my favourite videos on YouTube into FriendFeed. I choose to keep Twitter out of the mix because I find it is too noisy, and creates clutter in my Lifestream(s).

The Lifestream Blog has cool lists of content sources you can use to build your lifestream and tools to create and manage your lifestream.

So now this gets interesting. What does this lifestreaming stuff mean for us marketers? For starters, as more people turn to lifestreaming to make sense of all their digital stuff we need to create genuine relationships with fans and seed opportunities for brand advocates to generate "word of mouse" on their own terms in their very own lifestreams. What do you think?

photo: Fire Hose by bartmaguire

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