Frustrated With My Own Inabilities

Why do I expect this blog to be perfect?! I know it’s not, it really isn’t. But it seems like everything I do in life has to be perfect or I will punish myself. It has been that way since forever and that’s the reason why I have such a hard time doing anything. Writing an essay for school takes a huge amount of time, because I’m afraid that each sentence I write will leave me unable to take this and that direction, ultimately I end up going nowhere. I seem to have developed this obsessive compulsion that basically has me trying desperately to document and archive every part of my life and also doing that to perfection.

When I was about 12 years old I remember I used to rename every single MP3 file I had on my hard drive and not because they were misspelled, but because they were all in lower-case letters. I know, it’s stupid. But if it annoys you, it annoys you and what’s more natural than removing that annoyance? I eventually got tired of it as my collection of songs grew bigger and have since given up on that.

My Gmail account has to be perfect too. When I got my invite back in 2004 I quickly realized that I would be using it for a long time and now, over 2 years later, I know that I was right. Back then I quickly began aggressively tagging (or labeling I guess) every single e-mail just to make sure it would never get lost. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be able to find memorable and important e-mails, but I’m not really sure that’s why I do it, but rather to fulfill some sick need within me.

I also have another weird thing I do. I’m so obsessed with wanting to archive my life that I take screenshots from key moments in TV-series and movies I watch on my computer. I have over 400 screenshots from 2006 alone.

It’s this obsession that has me so excited about Chris J. Davis’ Wordpress version of the Lifestream plugin. What it does is basically showing all your online activities. With a little help of RSS magic, you can have a nice list of the music you listen to (Last.fm), the things you digg (digg.com), your latest photos (flickr.com) and whatever you want!
My excitement ends right around here, because I simply CANNOT get it to work properly. My header shows up twice and the lifestream is placed at the very bottom of the page, not to mention that it’s not even updating to show MY activities instead of the author of the plugin. When I find some time for it, I will give it another go, because for people like me, who think that having a single page that shows your Internet whereabouts (and maybe even archiving this info later on) this is a Godsend plugin.

To further get an idea about what exactly a lifestream is, check out these live examples from the lucky (!) and talented people who have this thing up and working. My hat’s off to you.

http://www.716ink.com/lifestream/
http://www.wiphey.com/lifestream/
http://www.somefoolwitha.com/about/lifestream
http://seanmcdonald.ca/lifestream/
http://white-meadows.net/lifestream

And of course Chris J. Davis himself: http://www.chrisjdavis.org/lifestream

The whole project was inspired by Jeremy Keith’s lifestream page.

COMMENTS

kristin:

Shoot me a msg on aim if u need some help :)

my sn is kpishdadi

Gil Creque:

I’ll give you some help. It took me a few hours today to get it the way I want it. First and foremost, I did create my page thru Wordpress. I made a lifestream directory and created a file with all the pertinent stuff into it. So if you are okay with that (Meaning whenever you make changes to your layout, you would have to manually change the lifestream file) let me know and I’ll help you out.

Sean:

patience friend…. i had the same experience. you have to cut and past the code to have it work in your own template - you’ll notice that the divs and css in generally is set up for Chris’ blog. also, his sidebar is on the left and yours is on the right.

finally, he has his own header in there and subheader - you’ll see the in the stream.php file. take that out.

most importantly, if you want your own info in there, ignore the admin panel in the back end and look at the life.php file - you’ll see the rss feeds for the various services in there, replace that with your info. for a few of the feeds you’ll need to have a feedburner account because they don’t produce valid rss - so, put them through feedburner and make sure they are converting to rss 2.0

looks like you have a few people to help you out, but if you need it… shoot me an e-mail, you can get it via my site.

Dennis:

Thanks a bunch guys for offering your help. :-)

I will probably take one of you up on that very soon.

Gunnar Hafdal:

I also like the idea of archiving what I do both on the web and on the computer (e.g. what music I play) and and finding this plugin that Chris made was great and I really like how it works though it did take me some time before I figured out that the admin page in the back-end doesn’t work at all but it was just a nice thing to open up TextMate and having to edit life.php and stream.php by hand :)

And as those who have written before me I also offer my help if you need any.

p.s. I renamed my music too when I was younger :)

Lifestream - Could it be the next big thing? at krynsky.com:

[…] After spending way too much time going off on a search result linkfest, I was able to determine that this concept appears to have been the brainchild of Jeremy Keith. He explains his thoughts behind it in a post as well as providing the PHP script he used to create his Lifestream. But I was in search of a plugin for Wordpress so I made my way to the Chris J Davis site. Proving how small the web makes the world, Chris was inspired to write a Wordpress plugin after visiting Jeremy’s site as well as reading a post from Michael Heilemann. I’m thankful for Chris to have made the plugin available, but it’s by no means plug and play. You need to make special edits depending on which version of PHP you are using, you may need to run some feeds through a third party (like Feedburner) and the included CSS in the page template may not play nice with your theme. But still I decided to read the comments and hack away and with the help of a modified version of the code by Gunnar Hafdal and some of my own tweaks I was able to get mine up and running. I have also since seen another plugin created based on Chris’ by Elliot Back but haven’t given it a whirl yet. […]

Elliott C. B├Ąck:

You might want to take a look at this Wordpress plugin. If you can’t get it to work, just let me know. There’s a lifestream demo (warning, gigantic page) as well.

Please, Don't Be Shy