I was so confused. Why did people always call using Posterous “Life-streaming”? At first looking at it, the service was much more a blog with some nice features, but certainly not anything close to life-streaming. What I soon realized after a day of research was that the concept of life-streaming had changed without me knowing it.
What I had always thought of life-streaming consisted of websites that aggregated your online activity feeds from other web properties into a single website. The one model I framed all my thinking around what life-streaming was had been the application SweetCron, a tool that you host and that displays the feeds you give it.
What had life-streaming changed to? Here’s my perspective: As the main issue in the social web drifted away from developing an aggregate view of your participation in it, it moved towards the goal of filtering the noise and of changing the consumption online from pages to streams. This created a new opportunity to create a stream like media channel, designed for you to consume and engage around the pieces of meaningful content which you and your friends shared.
As much as blogs provide good signal, their posts are generally, too long, or for some blogs fluctuate too much between quality content and filler posts. Meanwhile, most micro-blogging solutions have all encouraged putting all manner of irrelevant content online, they’ve also encouraged the duplicate spreading of ideas, links, and announcements such as news headlines.
What there was a need for, and will become popular beyond the scope of a single application or network is a habit of content production that balances high quality content, bite-sized length’d posts, and an open network system of following particular users, and of participating with them in discussions.
What’s left to be discussed is the idea of taking advantage of different types of media in sharing content and ideas of quality, the way this media rich format integrates with the different ways us as consumers are exposed to and discover interesting media pieces, and finally the sorts of ways that people can gather around a media format of this configuration as they have done for blogs and Twitter.