Kakuteru: Lifestreaming and Blogging Unite

You say (exasperatedly): Another lifestreaming service? Really? We say: Yes, but this FriendFeed-powered mashup is generating a lot of commotion and feedback due to one teeny, tiny difference -- it's a blogging service, too. 

Wait, FriendFeed-Powered? But My FriendFeed Sucks!

Exactly the point. Lifestreaming has been getting a lot of play lately because, well, a lot of people just don't have the time to read or write lengthy blogs on a regular basis anymore. Now, trendy alternative services like Tumblr, Jaiku, Sweetcron and our dear FriendFeed make it possible to post micro updates (a blurb here, a photo there, maybe even a video) on a constant, sharable stream. You get to post whatever you want, and the little-patience generation is entertained. Everybody wins, right? The problem with all of that play, however, is that there's plain and simply too much of it. It's like there's been some sort of flash life overload, and the list of dead feeds due to lack of connectivity and attention is getting a little too lengthy. So what are developers like Kakuteru creator Dominiek ter Heide turning to? Ironically, back to the blog.

In short: with all of those streams quick-taking the lives of users away, what could possibly make one different from the other? Long-form content can! Think of Kakuteru as like a serious way to pimp your blogging habits, or a serious way to pimp your quick-takes -- whichever you prefer. 

OK, Fine. Kaka-Whata? 

Kakuteru means "cocktail" in Japanese, and if we haven't sold you on the whole idea of  the integration behemoth plus blog yet, then the reference to alcohol has got to score some brownie points, right? 

The project began as what its initiator ter Heide calls a "part-time endeavor" and was inspired by Sweetcron developer Yongfook. Not wanting to be mistaken for the same exact thing, ter Heide and Yongfook point out that while Sweetcron is a self-hosted lifestream that keeps blog posts a little lower on the priority list, Kakuteru is a third-party service that pins the most recent blog entry to the top of the page. Plus, you can hide the Kakuteru URL behind a domain name if you'd like. Although less customizable than Sweetcron, Kakuteru offers/plans to offer the following perks: 

  • Use a FriendFeed.com user account as the backend to provide all the Lifestream data
  • Disqus feature allows commenting on each stream item
  • Manual addition of stream items
  • Each stream item will also provide several social bookmarking tools including Addthis.com
  • Links to profile pages on social media sites are pulled from FriendFeed
  • Autotagging of tweets and articles using Zemanta.com
  • Built-in content recommendation engine
  • Pinging 

What If I Don't Feel Like Sharing Myself Anymore?

No problem, you big indecisive baby. With Kakuteru, you have to option to toggle your feeds on and off. Reduce your page back to an old school blog if you're feeling salty about quick-taking. And when you get over it, just toggle it back on. It's that simple. 

As our friends over at ReadWriteWeb say, if would be cool if you could simply toggle off a feed and have it stop right then and there, as opposed to altogether. For example, if you decide to toggle off your Twitter feed, all of your tweets from day one will disappear, rather than stop for the time being. 

Ter Heide says that in its current state, Kakuteru isn't game-changing, but an open source application with the intention to become open business. Getting much feedback barely a month after its initial release has the kind of potential that we at CMSWire love to give attention to. 

Currently Kakuteru is in closed beta, but if you're interested in trying it out you can follow mykakuteru on Twitter and an invite will surely come your way.