Lifestreams, intersections and the digital trail

Steve Rubel explained why and how he started his lifestream – i.e. one central site for gathering any part of his digital trail: any Tweets, blogposts, Facebook notes, links and flickr photos. There is a wide range of different streams, that sometimes intersect at certain touchpoints (like I have my flickr images and my tweets on this page), which need to be aggregated.

A good idea, you can set one up easily at tumblr (30 seconds it says!). Steve even started a „reply stream“ to capture all the replies and comments to anything he published.

This is a logical continuation to bundling and remixing everything on the web using RSS. In the same way I am bundling all my favourite news sources (blogs, pictures, weather, press, etc.) on one startpage (netvibes, by the way – very recommendable), I should bundle all my output on one page for everyone to easily find. Which of course takes us to the other (still unsovled) side of the lifestream: how can I distribute content to all of these platforms and track the user traffic without having to visit all these sites all the time?

Is „lifestreams“ something many people will take up anytime soon? I don’t think so. It’s still to geeky, to much hastle, and most people have too few lifestreams anyway. But in a few years time, when more people will have an increasing digital trail, this might become a habit. We’ll see.

I think I will set one up shortly, once I am through with another – much more time consuming (and completely offline) – project that will keep me busy in the next 4 weeks. I’ll let you more about this soon on this site.

Bacn spreading like a mad virus

Sometimes things only need a name in order to spread around the globe like a mad virus on speed. This time, it’s bacn. Yes, like bacon, but only without the ‚O‘. And again yes: it’s derived from the same thought family as spam. If in doubt, visit the site that was put up specifically for this term.

The whole notion of bacn was coined during the podcamp in Pittsburgh, and is spreading since then.

For anyone not wanting to watch the above video: bacn is anything in your inbox that is not personal email, but it also isn’t unsolicited jung mail, aka spam.

It’s anything inbetween that you get as a notification but don’t need to read because once it notified you by simply sitting in your inbox, it’s done its job. No need to read the contents of the email. Examples are notifications from facebook, your own blog, flickr, or any other communities.

I like the way things need a name and all of a sudden the idea behind it can spread so much easier than before. It was the same with web 2.0. Everyone knew there was something out there that needed discussion, but noone could name it. Still noone can define exactly what web 2.0 is and what it isn’t. But at least everyone can talk about ‚it‘ now. And I guess that’s the same with bacn now. It won’t take long and we’ll find the first mainstream media headlines mentioning that word.

More of this social „what am I doing“

There is an interesting article about the „sites of social butterflies“ at USA Today. It provides a short summary of Twitter,, twittervision and flickrvision. It gets increasingly impossible to imagine how people kept up to date on each others activities just a year ago. How did they know whether or not their peers were having a coffee or not? I am puzzled how society could have functioned without that…

Xmas Papr Printr

A nice and ironic web 2.0 application: a site where you can create you’re own xmas wrapping paper


The images are taken from flickr, of course. And they have made sure it’s as web2.0-ish as possible, including the round corners, the share-me button and the versioning („alpha, beta, gamma, whatever“) – and at the end of the day, the wrapping paper is „user generated“.

Haven’t tried to print the papr, since I have no printer here with me. Nice gimmick…

Tagging vs. Cataloging

An interesting post by Chiara Fox, a senior information architect on tagging vs. cataloging.

Tagging differs from traditional cataloging in a number of ways. First, tagging no longer belongs solely to the world of librarians and indexers: now anyone can tag and describe assets. And not only is it possible for any user to apply a tag, but in some systems (such as Flickr), users can even add tags to other peoples’ assets.

It’s nothing groundbreaking new, but a good summary of folksonomies vs taxonomies. My favourite quote:

tagging has brought metadata to the masses