Sweetcron is a lightweight, configurable lifestreaming tool that you install on your server. Like services Tumblr and Friendfeed, you set up feeds from other services, such as your blog, Flickr, and Twitter. Sweetcron displays these feeds as your lifestream.
As our online selves get spread out among many different services, we’ll need tools like Sweetcron to bring everything back together. The big selling point of Sweetcron (which is free, so there’s no selling going on here) is its ability to be configured. For an example, see its creator’s site.
Sweetcron requires PHP 5 and MySQL 4.1, available on most web hosts. Installation is easy, though you’ll have to dig into some configuration files to make it work. There’s also fairly good documentation on creating/editing themes. To do some of the more complex stuff will require a little PHP, but you can accomplish quite a bit with CSS alone because each service is classed (ie, Flickr sections are set with class=”flickr_com”).
Be sure to check out the boxy theme that comes with Sweetcron, but isn’t enabled by default. That will get you started on the boxed look that Yong Fook uses on his site.
SecondBrain is a social aggregator that sure does look pretty. It wants to be the place you store all your content: images, bookmarks, Twitter messages and more. It currently supports twenty different sites.
SecondBrain’s service is foremost about organizing your own content. Other lifestreaming services, such as FriendFeed, focus more on sharing it with your friends. SecondBrain Collections allow you to curate your content into groupings. Those collections each have an RSS feed, so they can be syndicated elsewhere.
By bringing all your content in one place, SecondBrain has the opportunity to become a platform in addition to a site. While it promises “feeds for everything,” that is not yet true. For example, one of the niftiest features of SecondBrain is the master tag cloud. Individual tags don’t have their own RSS feed, so there’s no way for me to build off of their aggregation.
Another issue bound to upset many is that SecondBrain requires your login information for many of the external sites it aggregates. Even services with public-facing data (i.e., Twitter, del.icio.us) can only be added to your SecondBrain account if you trust it with your credentials.