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?