Lifestreaming is not Micro-blogging !!

Disclaimer: The post that follows is a personal take and is by no means against anyone or anything.

Microblogging has been one of most oft used and abused term in recent times by internet junkies and bloggers alike.

Micro-blogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually 140 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, MP3 or the web. — wikipedia

Everything is fine till here but the trouble begins when people(including me till a while back) start using the term “microblogging” loosely and confuse it with life streaming, where people send updates about what they are doing and not doing etc to update their friends/followers/fans (referred to as friends going forward). This gets particularly messy when people start using a service to do both microblogging and lifestreaming leaving their friends to do the tedious job of finding relevant bits of information that’ll be useful/relevant for them. Also its difficult for the user and his/her friends to take note and keep track of important matter/content as the chances of it being lost in the huge flow of lifestreaming are pretty high.

The instinct to share details of one’s daily life is a basic/innate one and so is the instinct to be aware of what people that matter to you are upto. Couple this with the ability to easily broadcast/stream your life and you get a viral but not exactly useful combo. Most of the minute details of what one did today won’t be relevant to him/herself leave alone their friends. While I by no means am opposed to the idea of streaming one’s life I am saddened by the fact that there are very few people who understand this and microblog in this sense, and most stream their lives instead.

I would really love to see people start microblogging i.e writing micro posts (100-200) characters about their ideas/feelings/fantasies/stories/philosophy whatever and share it with their friends online with ease using IM’s, browser pluggins, SMS etc. You can do this with the service of your preference, the updates will be less no doubt because tiny updates of life stream like having lunch, watching tv, on phone etc are more frequent but for that moment and many to come these microposts will be more relevant and precious for you and for your friends.

Share a link to your microblog below if you are doing it already or starting now.

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4 thoughts on “Lifestreaming is not Micro-blogging !!

  1. vimoh

    The trouble starts with the tagging doesn’t it? A page can be both a lifestream and a microblog at the same time.

    Kind of like link blogging and proper blogging. Is sharing links blogging? Yes and no. 🙂

    The point about blogging and other such social web publishing technologies is the freedom from formats they offer. Things can belong to several categories at once.

    Just my opinion. 🙂

  2. Ankur

    You can’t possibly make separate watertight categories out of these two, can you? And it’s unlikely that one would maintain one microblog and a separate lifestream..

    We recently started, a lifestream by positioninig, but lending itself to microblogging too with our input channels on the web/IM/email/SMS and voice calls.

    I would think lifestreaming, with the need to stay in touch as you put it, is likely to appeal to a wider audience at it attaches a context and meaning to microblogging, while there’ll always be intermittent microblogs on a life stream.

    OK. did I do too many circles? 🙂

  3. mayank

    Hi Guys,

    You are right that its difficult to both separate the two but i’d say maintaining a separate lifestream and a microblog is not all that difficult as both can be updated via various means like IM..

    So in that sense of the world, maintaining a microblog and lifestream would be easier than maintaining a lifestream/microblog and blog.
    Just a thought.

    I just want to promote creativity in form of micro posts sans life updates.

  4. Pingback: Recent Links Tagged With "microcontent" - JabberTags

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