Over on one of my favourite new blogs, John Welsh of These Digital Times nominates this blog as an example of what blogs might look in the future.
Welsh picked up from a ReadWriteWeb post arguing that that blogs would “become less of a steam of thoughts and more location for a person’s digital identity presented as a narrative or ‘Lifestream’ – the place where all your digital activity, whether on YouTube, Flickr, Facebook or any other, is brought together in one list.”
This blog, he suggested, is a radical example of this trend, because it takes the “lifestreaming ” idea a step further:
[J]ust as a traditional blog is a set of ideas but written by oneself, this is a set of ideas but just from other people (NB Stabe also has a regular and traditional blog with UK B2B magazine for journalists Press Gazette).
I hope he’s wrong.
I can’t claim the design of this blog as any sort of clever idea. In fact, I’m a bit disappointed that my blog has a become a bit of a “roll your own” Tumblr in recent months. If anything, this is an accidental “lifestream”.
If you look back in the archive, this was once a more “traditional” blog. It has become what it is today not by design but as a result of the conflict of interests with my column at Press Gazette, which has a similar focus to this blog’s.
About a year ago, I added an RSS aggregation plugin to my WordPress installation and changed my template to intersperse my Delicious bookmarks among my “proper” posts. I did this so I could stop using the ugly “links for 2008-08-19″ style that Delicious’s own blog posting tool uses. Besides being ugly, the tool’s approach of pooling all of a day’s bookmarks into one post â€” and not passing their tags on to WordPress â€” meant the taxonomy I was developing to organise my bookmarks on delicious was not benefiting my blog at all. Switching to the RSS aggregation approach solved this problem instantly.
But as the longer items increasingly migrated to the two blogs I have contributed to at Press Gazette — Fleet Street 2.0 and, more recently, The Wire — the “leftover” links have been all that remained here.
As a result, it has become a sort of public scrapbook of facts and ideas that I have collected over the course of each day and filed away for future reference. In fact, the blog only contains a fraction of the more than 12,000 items I have saved on the bookmarking service over the last three years. There are many things I don’t share, either because they’re personal or relate to some ongoing project that I don’t want competitors to guess I’m working on.
I’ve been a bit surprised to discover that people seem to find this a useful service.
But I certainly hope it’s not a sign of things to come for blogs in general or this one in particular. What was once “normal service” around here should be resumed soon â€”Â probably around the start of September…