FriendFeed-Facebook deal reaffirms need for a social media safety net

As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of digital lifestreams, a single page overview of your online & offline world. I have my own lifestream that features not only what I'm doing on my blog or other websites, but also ties in what I'm doing offline through pictures & videos. (Check out my lifestream, if you like!)

As focus on aggregated lifestreams (or socialstreams, as they are sometimes being called) has evolved, several really good sites have popped up which allow you to create your own lifestream, including soup.io, Profilactic, and – most notably – FriendFeed. Given the simplicity of these great tools, thousands have flocked to these services.

However, with the recent purchase of FriendFeed by Facebook (Friendbook? Facefeed?), it now appears that the future of FriendFeed may be in jeopardy. If FriendFeed folds – just as Swurl & Jaiku did earlier – it could erase (literally) millions of digital landmarks in thousands of user's lifestreams. Since lifestreams are generated as they happen, there's a real possibility that those users will never be able to recreate their lifestreams. Now, thousands of FriendFeed users are looking for ways to back up their lifestream before it disappears.

But the sad reality is, this didn't need to happen.
Continue reading FriendFeed-Facebook deal reaffirms need for a social media safety net

Roll Your Own URL Shortener with WordPress in less than One Hour

With the closing of the tr.im url shortening service yesterday, many users are beginning to worry about what will happen to all of their shortened URLs.

The reality of the situation is that many almost every social media service – including twitter, friendfeed, jaiku, indenti.ca, etc, etc – all rely on URL shortening services. (After all, it's hard to have short messages with long urls, right?) But if those services cease to exist, many of the links that have been cultivated, traded, and broadcast will cease to function. In other words, all of your tweets & posts could ultimately become lost or broken links.

The solution? Create your own URL shortening service using WordPress!

Not only will you you ensure that your links don't become broken or rot, but you'll also have complete access to click-through statistics, be able to custom tailor the link name & appearance, and you can harness the power to promote your own brand!

Continue reading Roll Your Own URL Shortener with WordPress in less than One Hour

How to Create a Social Media Safety Net

While I didn't get social media at first, I now know exactly how I can use & benefit from my favorite social media apps – like Twitter, FriendFeed, Tumblr, Soup, BrightKite and others.

(In fairness, much of my social media awakening should be credited to Rob @ Orangejack, Mike McBride, and nf0).

One of the issues that's troubled me over the past two years is the EXTREME decentralization that has been brought about by the rise of great social media websites. It's as if there is no common thread tying all of these social thoughts, musings, and ideas together.

The problem is exacerbated somewhat by the realization that I have no control over the content that I have created. What I have posted to Twitter now lives on Twitter's servers. If Twitter folds (as Pownce did in December), then those digital bits of my life may be lost forever. And that would really suck.

Continue reading How to Create a Social Media Safety Net