Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-03-14

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-10

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-06-28

Is blogging the “new” lifestream?

A little while ago I was wondering what platform I could use to aggregate my various online properties (Flickr, Delicious, Twitter, etc.) in a so-called “lifestream” and someone suggested that Friendfeed might be feasible. I looked into it for a while, but couldn’t commit to it because something didn’t feel right about using one service to point to all the other services.

With the recent Facebook acquisition of Friendfeed, I figured out what I didn’t like about using Friendfeed as a gateway, and that is that it’s not mine and never will be. It’s unlikely, but what if Facebook decided to kill Friendfeed? That in itself wouldn’t make a huge difference because Friendfeed would only be aggregating my content that is hosted elsewhere. But the principle is that building on a platform I don’t control just seems like a bad idea.

Which brings me to the blog…or at least, the self-hosted blog. With all the plugins available nowadays, it’s possible to incorporate virtually any content from most of the popular services, directly into the blog. I’ve had my Twitter and Flickr streams on /usr/physio for ages, and in the last few months have included additional content from Slideshare and Scribd. My blog is not going to go away anytime soon because I control the platform, down to the version of the software I run. No matter what services crop up that I decide to make use of, it’s only a matter of time before someone writes a plugin that I can use to incorporate that content into my site.

Of course there are issues with interaction on the blog, with most commenting systems incapable of integrating with each other (i.e. my Twitter feed is displayed on my blog, but any reader can only respond via Twitter, rather than directly from the blog…and the same goes with any other services that I’m using). But this problem would exist with any current “lifestreaming” platform.

So, is the blog going to make a comeback?

Sharing documents and profiles

I’ve been meaning to play around with Scribd for a while now but never felt I had anything useful to put up.  After uploading some conference presentations on Slideshare a week ago and seeing the steadily climbing views, I finally decided to get a few abstracts together and upload them publicly.  You can see them on my Scribd profile.

I’m looking into alternative forms of publishing (see my Mozilla project on a collaboratively authored South African textbook), especially since the majority of the local journals I’ll be publishing in aren’t online (yet).   In order to get academic recognition, it’ll take years for my papers to filter out into the field if I rely purely on hardcopy.  This seems to be a useful alternative to get my academic content out right now.

I’m also starting to wonder where I can aggregate all of my online spaces into one place.  This blog would seem to be the natural place, but the structure doesn’t quite fit.  I need an online business card that could direct people to the places that interest them.  I’m playing around with a simple wiki at but don’t have the time to fiddle with the CSS to make it look right.  If anyone has any idea about how to aggregate my different profiles (e.g. find me on Mendeley, Facebook, etc.), my feeds (this blog and Twitter, Flickr), my conference presentations and article abstracts, please feel free to drop me a line.

Here’s an example of one of my abstracts using iPaper:
Abstract – Knowledge, Attitudes Towards Social Software