I was planning on writing this spectacular review on social aggregation and lifestreaming services. Instead, I found this article today that does a better job than I would have done. The reason for the interest is because there is a lot of funding being thrown around, specifically at FriendFeed and others. As the review states, Profilactic supports the most services, currently at 144. No other service comes near that number of sites. ReadWriteWeb also had an overview of 35 sites that have lifestreaming functionality. I say functionality as there are several sites, like MyBlogLog, that have added this service to their normal features.
So, instead of a big review I am going to talk about why you might want to add a lifestreaming service to your daily site visits. As a content publisher, think blogger or twitterer, you can combine all of your information into one convenient location for other people to browse. This is a nice convenience as you do not have to explicitly follow all of your social media friends on every different site. For someone like myself, it proves very useful as I do not use Twitter yet so I am not actively following people on Twitter. I found the lifestreaming review because of a lifestreaming site. Conveniently enough, I was following one of the Profilactic team, and he had posted the link to the review. This is part of the power of lifestreaming, finding content from someone in an unexpected place. If you use and follow more than one social media service, it is a fantastic resource.
One of the other benefits is seeing your own information in some sort of time line. Seeing that you stumbled several sites one day and bookmarked sites another day, but did not post anything to your blog can give you an idea of what you are doing. Seeing your bookmarks and stumbles in one place can give you blog post ideas as well. Given that those are the sites and pages that you like, there has to be a blog post for you to write in there somewhere.
There are some lingering problems with lifestreaming, one is choices. The review mentioned above had 15 sites, but did not include sites like MyBlogLog that have started including this functionality. The review is excellent, and echoed my sentiments on the choice of Profilactic. The other major problem is acceptance. Social media is very popular with the internet crowd, but it has not really reached the consumer masses. Social networking is closer, but most people are in only one network. Given that social media has not really reached critical mass, the aggregation and lifestreaming services will be gaining acceptance slowly. Even more services will be popping up in the next few months, and other services will be coming out of private beta. Until some sites fail, and consolidation occurs, you may need to be lifestreaming on a few different sites. If you have that kind of social media addiction, you should be using Profilactic and Friendfeed. If you really need to choose one, I would have to recommend Profilactic for their ease of use and the number of services they support.