Lifestreaming is "a time-ordered stream of documents that functions as a diary of your electronic life." It started out as something visionary, but was downgraded over time to mean "all of your social media activity in one stream."
Lifestreaming is nice. The problem is that your "electronic life" isn't your actual life -- you know, where you go in the physical world, what you do, who you meet and even how you feel? Isn't that the stuff we'd really like to remember?
Besides, do we have to share everything? And are the things we share the only things we want to remember?
I love social media, and I even use Google+ as my personal blog. But there are many things I'd like to remember -- ideas, thoughts, experiences, pictures, videos -- that I don't want to share with the general public or even anyone at all.
Where does all that stuff go? Evernote, right? Well, not so fast.
There is no sharp line between what's public and what's private. It's more of a gradient from aggressively public (pushing content at people), passively public (making it available for those who come looking for it) to semi-public (available to people I know) to semi-private (shared with close family and friends) to private (only me).
Any of these kinds of content might be part of what I want to remember in my "real-life stream."
Why Google+ is best for 'real-life streaming'
Google+ is the most capable system for "real-life streaming" that I'm aware of, for four reasons.
First, it's a social network, so all levels of social sharing or nonsharing can go in the same place. You don't have to post once to share and again to save into your "real-life stream."
Second, it's searchable.
Third, it accepts texts, links, pictures, videos and other kind of data.
Fourth, you're not locked in. If you decide later to move your "real-life stream" if something better comes along, you'll be able to download it all from Google Takeout.
I know, I know: The idea of "real-life streaming" on Google+ may strike some as volunteering to have your privacy violated. The privacy issue is a topic for another column. This piece is about how you can personally benefit from the data harvesting that's already taking place.
Here's how to remember the places you go, the people you meet and the things you do -- and how you felt about it all -- all in reverse-chronological order on Google+.
Remember the places you go
Location-based social networking services like Foursquare can be annoying. Still, it's great to remember some places you've been, even if you don't share it.
Google+ does non-annoying location remembering and sharing with some surprising features.
Let's take a look at one of them.
This is the profile of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. If you hover your mouse pointer over his location information near the bottom of his profile banner photo, you'll see that the picture is replaced by his location on a map for as long as you hover.