How to Use a Lifestream

Learn how to set up a lifestream to aggregate your social media feeds and discover four sites that will help.

Aliza Sherman
January 7, 2010
Episode #085

Many of us have accounts on a number of different social media sites. But how can you pull all of the feeds of the content from those sites together into a single location. And why would you want to?


What Is a Lifestream?

The term lifestream means a conglomeration or aggregation of social media streams like Twitter feeds, Facebook status updates, blog feeds, Flickr feeds--you name it. In a lifestream, these feeds are pulled together into a single location to showcase your participation on a variety of sites.

By setting up a lifestream, you accomplish several things:

  • you make it easier to keep track of all your own updates in one place;

  • you make it easier for others to keep up with all of your social media interactions;

  • you create an additional presence for yourself in social media that is automated and content-rich;

  • and you can track the lifestreams of friends and people you're following.

Popular Lifestreaming Sites

There are a number of sites that make it very easy to pull your feeds together into one place.

Tumblr: Tumblr was one of the earliest sites to offer lifestreaming. Tumblr calls itself the easiest way to blog, and its tools do make blogging--or tumblelogging--pretty straightforward. You can share images, quotes, links, music, and videos using a bookmarklet on a Web browser, your mobile device, a desktop application, or via email.
The pages are easily customizable. And adding RSS and other feeds to your Tumblr page is a cinch, however, Tumblr now has a 5 feed limit (although you can request more from customer support). For many people, however, 5 feeds is just right.

Setting up a lifestream helps you make it easier to keep track of all your own updates in one single place.

Soup.io: Another site that makes lifestreaming very easy is Soup.io. If you have a Facebook account already, you can connect to Soup.io using Facebook Connect. You can form or join Groups based on interests, such as typography, and all members of the group can gather multimedia into a single stream--so it is a collaborative way of aggregating streams. You can make new friends or connections by viewing friends of friends.

Soup.io supports dozens of services in addition to RSS feeds. Use a handy pull down menu to select the service you'd like to stream in, type in your username, and the feed is pulled. I love the ease of uploading feeds on this site.

FriendFeed: Some people use FriendFeed as their lifestreaming tool while others use it to manage broadcasting messages to various social networks. Still others use it for both aggregation and broadcasting. Initially I used FriendFeed to aggregate my most important status update feeds including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. My FriendFeed stream is connected to my Facebook account and streams onto my profile. I'm looking to explore new features on FriendFeed to see how else it can help me manage my many feeds. I'll share my discoveries with you in a future show.

Lifestream.fm: Another lifestreaming site is lifestream.fm. This site can pull in feeds from 60 different services from the most well-known--like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,  and Digg--to other kinds of social content sites, such as Reddit, Mixx, NetVibes and Clipmarks. You can send your lifestreams to your mobile device or use a desktop app to bring your stream to your desktop. Though you can customize your lifestream profile page with a different background image or color, lifestream.fm is more limited than Tumblr in terms of customization.

I had trouble getting my feeds to load into Lifestream.fm and when I looked to see who else used it, it seemed to be more international--which is something to consider when you're trying to reach a particular market or audience. I'm on the fence about this site but thought I'd at least mention it.

SocialThing: There was another lifestream site called SocialThing that was purchased by AOL and is now called AIM Lifestream, but to use it you must sign up for AIM--which is AOL's IM service.

Tumblr, Soup.io and Friendfeed offer bookmarklets so you can also post directly to your lifestreams from your Web browser. I couldn't easily find one for Lifestream.fm.

My Recommendation

If I had to choose one of these sites, I'd go with Tumblr for its elegance; but if you have more than five streams to feed into one site, Soup.io is so easy to use with instant results.

Bottom Line: Creating a lifestream is a useful thing to do not only for others who might be interested in what you publish and what you have to say, but also for yourself--you’ll be able to see the overall picture of what you do in social media in one place.

Contact Me

That's all we have time for today.

Visit the show’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show plus a few extras. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for The Digital Marketer, e-mail me at  digitalmarketer@quickanddirtytips.com or leave a message by calling 206-339-6279. And you can find me at Facebook.com/thedigitalmarketer and Twitter.com/alizasherman.

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Tumblr - http://www.tumblr.com/"http://www.tumblr.com
Aliza Sherman's Tumblr - http://alizasherman.tumblr.com
Lifestream.fm - http://www.lifestream.fm/"http://www.lifestream.fm
FriendFeed - http://www.friendfeed.com/"http://www.friendfeed.com/
Aliza Sherman's FriendFeed - http://friendfeed.com/alizasherman
Soup.io - http://www.soup.io/"http://www.soup.io
Aliza Sherman's Soup.io - http://alizasherman.soup.io/

Social Media image courtesy of Shutterstock