Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Lifestream Flow-Chart Model

Back on June 26th, noted blogger Steve Rubel gave his followers a look at his "lifestreaming workflow." He presented a graphic chart where he outlined how he divvied up his favorite web services and presented three categories:
Capture:: This is where I collect my inspiration for content and create it. I am increasingly using Friendfeed as a front-end filter for all my social network content. I read feeds in Google Reader. I build mindmaps using Mindmeister and Mindnode. Finally, I create media on my iPhone - text using WriteRoom, sound using the voice recorder, and photos/videos using the camera.

Process:: Everything lands in Gmail and/or Evernote. I email feed items to myself that get tagged. I subscribe to certain Friendfeed lists that I have set up in Gmail. Finally, I am experimenting using Zemanta to find related content.

Share and Connect:: Then I email items into Posterous - text, images, audio, videos. These automatically populate certain social networks depending on the address I send them to (this is a Posterous feature). Comments come back to me in Gmail both on the site and through searches. I learn what you have to say and then that too gets stored.
That particular flow may work for Mr. Rubel, but for my needs it is flawed. I went ahead and made my own chart. Like the Rubel Chart, everything gravitates toward Google. But there is a difference... can you see what it is?

...keeping my #1 rule "always have a back-up" in mind, evrything still gravitates toward Google, but if Google suddenly vanished from the picture, nothing would catastrophically collapse.

Everything in the red circle is my personal interconnected web-presence. See "MyBlogLog" on the edge, just penetrating the red circle? If I lost Google, GMail and Blogger, "MyBlogLog" (which contains my Yahoo email and chat) could immediately step in. If you look at the header of this blog, you'll see my "About" link goes directly to my "MyBlogLog" profile.

My back-up blog is my LiveJournal, which captures material posted on Posterous. MySpace exists outside any circle because it is my channel to certain friends and musicians relevant to my DJ persona.

The blue circle contains my professional and work-related sites. They are not interconnected, although they could be if needed.

But again, what happens if you LOSE any of your content, especially your blog? Hmmm... I do have software on the computer I'm blogging from that can save an entire blog from day one, and it can be viewed in a browser, but who would really care about it except for me? Below is a comment on Steve Rubel's log from one of his readers expressing this fear, followed by his reply:

Krishna De said... Your post was a good reminder to me of Posterous which I had set up almost a year ago. I know there are things that just don't make the cut for my blog and that I want to add multimedia when travelling and just with my Blackberry with me so I have gone back today to revisit Utterli and Posterous to decide which to use.
My only concern on using a hosted service is that no matter how good it is, if there is no back up my content could disappear overnight as happened with Magnol.ia earlier this year.
Have you considered this Steve or isn't it an issue for you?
Jun 28, 2009
Steve Rubel said... @Krishna, I absolutely did. First, everything is backed up in Gmail. Second, Posterous has said that all content will be exportable. So, should they go belly up, I can port my content to Wordpress or some other solution.

See? Always have a backup, always have a "Plan B" - and if you really wanted to, you could do what one blogger I know does: every day she prints her blog: just the newest "front page" and places the printed papers in a box. I won't tell you how many boxes she has accumulated since 2003. Again, the question arises, is anyone really going to care about all this blogged printed stuff one, two or three years from now? Or when the blogger dies? Unless she becomes famous, we have so much information out there in cyberspace already, too much to read, too much to digest at times!

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