Increasingly, brands are getting into social media and social networking — we see them everywhere we go online these days. One of the most popular campaigns was last year’s Skittles web site relaunch, which cleverly included a “lifestream” of all of its social networking content and activity from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. It generated quite a buzz, and other companies rushed to do similar things for their own brands.
Here are some simple ways to display a lifestream of all of your social networking activity in one place. Some solutions involve using a third-party service, while others require the use of a free plugin or widget for your blog.
Lifestream Plugin For WordPress Blogs
I really like this simple but powerful free Lifestream plugin for self-hosted WordPress* blogs. It lets you display all of your activity on many social networks all on one page.
The final step is to create a new page and enter a one word line of code: [lifestream], which displays the lifestream on your site.
*Disclosure: Automattic, the maker of WordPress, is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.
Friendfeed Widgets and Badges
If you use Friendfeed (now owned by Facebook) then you can use some of its cool tools to embed all of your social networking streams on your web site. There are a couple of different ways to do this.
You can use the “Real-time” widget in your sidebar to display a real-time feed of all your streams.
Or you can also use a smaller “Status” widget that only displays the latest activity:
Another way to share your all of your brand’s activity is through a third-party service such as UnHub. With UnHub, you just pick and choose which feeds you want to share on what it calls the “Personal Profile Bar.” One of the biggest downsides to this method is that you can only access it via a URL which comes in the following structure: http://unhub.com/YourName
The other big difference with UnHub is that all of your streams are segmented by service, and not displayed all together in chronological order, as with the Lifestream method.
Social Networking Aggregation
No matter which method you choose to share your activity on social networks, the great thing about all of them is their simplicity. What I like best about these solutions is that you can set them up and forget about them for the most part; they don’t require maintenance.
I think it makes sense to centralize your brand in one place, namely your web site or blog. It’s also a good move for personal blogs and web sites too, making it easy for friends to keep up with what you’re up to.
Let us know what you think of these options and share any others in the comments.