I registered the domain for my name – annsmarty.com – two years ago (to protect my online reputation) and since then I’ve had no idea what I should do with it. I don’t like non-used domains, so I set up a blog there. I can’t speak a lot about myself, so I didn’t make it personal. Instead, I reviewed random tools now and then to have something there. Then the blog has slowly turned into my mini news-feed where I am sharing some news about myself.
Since I am very active at a number of social media sites, I decided to create a lifestream there to aggregate my web life a bit. And I figured that many of SEJ readers find this idea brilliant enough to make sense of their personal blogs and domains. So let me share how I created my social media lifestream page at WordPress blog.
1. Download and configure the plugin
The plugin I was using for that is LifeStream: while it doesn’t integrate social media monitoring, it is a highly customizable and really sleek WordPress plugin that supports multiple social media sites. It also doesn’t have any fancy requirements:
- PHP 5.1 or newer.
- MySQL 5.0 or newer.
- WordPress 2.5 or newer.
So just install it and activate. The next thing to do is to configure the options:
- Date and hour format;
- Update interval;
- Number of items displayed;
- Link targets;
- The theme;
- Digest (Lifestream gives you the ability to create a new blog post at regular intervals, containing all of the events which happened in that time period.)
Once those basic steps are taken, proceed to adding your social media feeds (which will form the actual content of your Lifestream).
2. Add and configure your social media feeds
Lifestream supports dozens of most popular feeds including:
- Any blog RSS;
- StumbleUpon, etc.
Well, see for yourself:
Each feed has it’s own configurations. For example, for Twitter feed, you can:
- Select to hide your username;
- Filter out replies (to make the stream more relevant);
- Use your custom icon for the updates:
3. Publicize your life stream
After you have configured the setting and added your feeds, you should make it public at your blog. The plugin has a few options you can choose from:
- The easiest way is to use the normal context handler (works in pages and posts):
- Another method requires a custom WordPress page, or the use of a template, and is a simple function call:
- Yet another way is to just install the sidebar widget which can be also configured (set the number of updates, select the feeds to include in it, etc):
I found the plugin a great way to aggregate your social media life and share it with your (personal) blog readers.