I’ve been trying out four different lifestream plugins and wanted to offer a review of them. The four I tried are SimpleLife, RSS Stream, Lifestream Manager, and Actionstream. The picture below is how each showed up in a page created for them in my theme.

lifestreamplugs.jpg

  • Gobbledygook from SimpleLife plugin in plugins windowSimplelife… It’s implementation was buggy and gave me the following crazy stuff in the plugin window. Too plain for me, but it did work right after I activated and created a page template with the proper code in it (but I’d like to see simple code copy and paste).
  • Tried RSS Stream… I really like how you can customize the icon in the added feeds. It has some built in, but I added icons for Tumblr and Youtube. It was through this plug-in that I realized I could simply do Tumblr and Youtube, and that would cover my whole lifesteam… Come to think of it, if I import my Youtube feed into Tumblr… The RSS-Feed interface was the most user-friendly. B
  • Lifestream Manager plugin by Chris J. Davis was relatively easy to set up, but I couldn’t get the icons to show up properly. I DO like how the backgrounds to each service are colorcoded. You can also do this with SimpleLife manually in the options window, but I could never get it to work. It’s not supported by the author any longer. Here’s another link to the plugin with some more information. C+
  • Actionstream plugin is the one I’m currently using. Download and easy instructions here. The author has been extremely helpful and responsive in dealing with some setup issues. However, now all is working well, and you can see the Lifestream it generates in the column to the right. The icons from each service show up well, but not in my page. B+

I fully expect more development on all of the above as Lifestreaming becomes more popular. I think you’ll also see some newer plugins created as well. Features I’d like to see automatically included are:

  1. automatic icon insertion (with option to create your own) for imported feeds
  2. feed import by user name rather than feed address (with option for feed address for non-supported services or blog entries)
  3. checkbox inclusion for services (much like Hellotxt.com)
  4. smart importation (if my Twitter status and Facebook status are the same, import only one or include icons from both?)
  5. thumbnail display for services like Flickr and Youtube

BTW: In reviewing this and deactivating the plugins I’m not using, I discovered that it was the SimpleLife plugin that had caused my InSeries plugin to stop working. Users be aware.

On this day...