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Lifestream vs Blog...why the damn vs?



Have been giving some thought to all the blogging and or lifestreaming conversations going around recently on blogs, in the social sites and probably even on the phone!

There does seem to be some shift going on with the impact of immediacy and the ever shortening of the attention span regarding content online, people seem to like snacking on short content, more so if a conversation can build around it, like what happens on friendfeed.

It seems to be the huge space between short blurbs like on twitter (140 max letters) and a full blown blog like say ... this one ;o)

Tumblr stepped into this space, and having used it myself it seems ok for what it is and does, posterous now stepped into this space too and I do prefer posterous for it's simplicity and the fact you can just do the whole lot through email.

I know you can use email on other platforms but posterous takes that to another level really and the only thing I can see making waves like it is googles aptly named wave!

Posterous as it is could be the simplest way to have a presence online and that is what matters, having some central hub from where your content reaches out, (and you only need to email it!), like the telegraph pole above, the lines reach out to the outpost, like twitter, friendfeed and others.

If you have no presence yet and no domain, setting up one for posterous is by far the simplest and fastest way to get started, it's like when blogger started but better and far easier!

I can see the appeal of lifestreaming yet I still feel a blog where you can go into more depth on your content is the way to go forward and instead of replacing blogging with lifestreaming, see how you can use it to compliment your blog after all there is no right or wrong way to do this, only you will know if it's worth doing for you.

There is no need to "dump" your blog or whatever, that's silly really unless you KNOW it's best being dumped and you will only know that over time, not next week, or a month ... more like 6 months and like anything else, test it for yourself and make your own mind up.

I could happily lifestream all day but that won't feed me ... at the moment. ;o)

So I will carry on blogging but will also use posterous often as I feel it is worth trying, IE I am acting on my own advice here. ;o)

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Google wave, an exciting innovation

Googles new ...

google_wave_logoave is exciting to see.

It really could change the web, Lars Rasmussen described it as simply ... "Wave is what email would be if was invented today" ... and the inspiration for this started in 2004.

Lars and his brother Jens along with Stephanie Hannon, all from the google office in Sydney, Australia have come up trumps with this in my eyes, you really need to watch the video to see it in action for it's potential to make sense.

These are the guys who gave you google maps, which is succeeding very well and being used probably more than even they anticipated, I see it on photos, tweets, the social sites, blogs, search ... everywhere.

Googles waving!

So I hadn't got around to watching the wave video until recently, maybe you've already seen it, read about it somewhere, if not, although the video is over an hour it is worth watching. Even if you have no intention of using wave itself, it shows where the internet is really going from here.

Once you see it in action, you realise email and IM messaging (chat) seems to be so lame, old, stale and yet this so much more than simply email, IMessaging in a new form, almost everyone uses email and chat so that most likely includes you and this will change how you do it, should you use it when it's available.

This is by far the biggest and best web innovation I have seen online, to be honest it blew me away watching it, the possibilities, the sheer usefulness of it, the "liveness" of it.

And yet it's still in raw form, meaning it's as basic as it will be the way you see it now, they stressed the point it was in it's early stages a few times, yet there can only be improvements once all the smart developers start building things for it, like "add on" developers do so well with firefox, it's users that make it what it is.

But for the rest of us who will simply use it, most will love it once it's out there to use I think ... maybe some will be late to try it, others will be onto it asap (I can't wait!), whatever happens it will change the way the web is used.

It's simply a new better way of communicating and in real time too, google is leading the way with wave as there really is nothing else to compare it to.

Use Gmail?

If you have a Gmail account, the look in wave (right click, new tab, window, for pics) will seem somewhat familiar, the left sidebar panel is where the navigation and friends show (google contacts), in the main page where your inbox would show in Gmail is where the collection of waves if you have more than one are show as a list.

Each wave when clicked on opens as whole on the right side of the main page and it's in threaded form, but unlike threaded emails of text, waves can have anything added to it, pictures, links, whatever content you want to share. (check first pic)

Much like in Gmail, you can contact multiple people and have several responses all threaded together in one massage ... unlike Gmail, with wave you can pick and choose which person sees what in the wave, while keeping it all in context. (first pic, right hand side) The people in that wave in the pic are shown on the top of the wave itself.

Get this ... anytime in the Gmail, if I wanted to share an email with someone new I would send the whole message, they would see all of it and from all who responded but would have to sit and read it all as it is and make sense of it, even though its all out of context as a thread.

Not so in wave, they have this great feature called "playback" as you see on the button at the top on the pics, clicking this shows the new added person not only the whole thread in the wave, but how it happened, what got added where, when, what led to it, what was changed, the progress as it happened etc ...

Like watching a rewind on a mixed video/sharepoint/doc/picalbum/IM !!

Powerful as a collaberation tool!

Powerful as a storyboard!

Powerful as a mastermind!

Then say that new person wanted to share something private with you, something regarding an idea about the wave which was best not being said in the wave for all to see, they could make a part private to type to you, they would leave the actual message in the wave keeping it in context ... so only the two of you see it!

A hypothetical wave!

Many of my friends on facebook go on holidays, all at the same time quite often yet in different places. They normally post a status or two while on holiday, as well as add a picture album (or two!) to their profile to share with us all.

Let's imagine three groups of four have all gone on holiday ...

1. Four girls have gone to Ibiza (as you do!)

2. Two couples have gone to NZ ... (lucky buggers!)

3. Four lads choose Tenerife. (No surprise there!)

The tags can help people find the "scattered over several (12) profiles" pictures and comments etc, yes I know, so fragmented, so awkward not to mention dealing with all the notifications when others comment!

Use a wave...

For ease we call the wave "summer hols 09" which is simple to remember for all of them and others in the future.

Group 1 touchdown first... it's late in the evening, they comment in the wave and post a pic of the scene from the bus / coach as it takes them to the hotel...

Others online (me!) at the same time can comment in the wave, the girls can reply without leaving the wave.

Next morning, group 2 hit the runway in NZ, on the way they send pics from the plane to the wave, commenting along with it, again anyone online at the time can reply in the wave, to a comment or about the picture.

The couple spot the girls pics and comments from the night before, they comment too.

Others join in as they find the wave.

Later the night the lad in group 3 fly out to Tenerife, three hours later they are hitting the hotel to drop their stuff off and then hitting the bars and clubs, they post a pic or two to the wave, they also comment on the other two groups things.

Luckily the girls are online...they start chatting to the lads, in real time. Others join in.

All this "experience sharing" in one wave, all in context of how the holidays unfolded.

An experience in real time of three holidays all happening at once!

After everyone is home, they can continue to share and comment on the wave about their experiences and more.

A few weeks later, a friend who has not been online much may ask about the holiday now it gets interesting, because instead of saying, yeah we posted pics to facebook and the comments...well you will spend days looking for them...you share the wave!< The friend only has to hit the "playback" button to see the whole "shared experience" of 3 holidays between 12 people and all in one smooth flow, like watching a real time video/screencast as it unfolded. That is neat! :o) That is just one "fun" way of using it, and you have a digital memory bank of it. I hope you can see why the wave looks exciting, not only as a fun thing but a serious breakthrough in how we communicate and share things. It will also have great uses for work, brainstorming and more. I for one can't wait to try it out and see how I can utilise it in several ways. What about you? "waves" :o)

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