Set it and forget it, Sweetcron personal lifestream application

  • February 23rd, 2009

Like so many others, I have a FriendFeed account. I dumped a handful of web services that I use on a daily basis into the "feed" and then sort of forgot about it. Once in awhile I’ll receive an email summary from the service reminding me of what others might be up to, but beyond that, there isn’t much else I do with the service. I guess I sort of lost interest because I didn’t have a sense that the service was mine.

I enjoy the idea of a consolidated view of most of my internet activities – even more so when I have control of how my content is presented. After visiting, and discovering that I could generate a similar site using Sweetcron (open source), all that was left to do was to create a simple theme. – Aggregating my own favorite sites


Eventually, I will expand on the sources. For now, aggregates content from 5ThirtyOne, Flickr, Delicious, Twitter, and Brightkite.

The tedious part is managing your feeds

All kidding aside, the most work you will ever need to do while setting up your bone stock Sweetcron site is managing your feeds. The installation is straightforward requiring the creation of a database, file upload, and some configuration file editing to instruct Sweetcron where to look for the database. If you run into any issues, review the documentation or visit the Sweetcron Google Group.

With Sweetcron, you can:

  • Aggregate your most used web services – all this hinges on the fact that those services offer RSS feeds.
  • Filtering content by source. No backend tweaks needed. For example, ff you add your Flickr feed to your sources, simple visit your site and append the the following to the URL – /items/site/ How easy is that?
  • Meta tags. Most feeds like your WordPress or Flickr sources publish any tags associatd with the content. Sites like Twitter don’t. Sweetcron lets you manually add or edit tags in the admin panel.
  • Single master feed of all your content. No need for your visitors to use something like Yahoo Pipes, Sweetcron combines all of your feeds into one.
  • Did Sweetcron add something you would rather hide? Delete published items in the admin panel. Note that Sweetcron – by default – sets Twitter @replies as drafts requiring that you log in and publish items.
  • Feeling bloggy? You can compose an entry through the admin panel and have it published with the rest of your aggregated data.
  • Default 30 min refresh for new content, or create your own cron job to update your site. Sweetcron really is a true "set it and forget it" web app.

Other notes

  • Sweetcron includes two themes: Boxy (by the original creator at and a Sandbox (bare bones text based theme). If you want something unique, spend some time exploring the structure of a Sweetcron site using Boxy as your guide.
  • Don’t aggregate feeds from a web service that is already aggregating your internet activity. Make sense? Stick to feeding direct sources through Sweetcron rather than passing your FriendFeed RSS feed through.

Where is your lifestream?

Are you using Sweetcron, FriendFeed, Tumblr, or some other service as a lifestream? If so share your links in the comments.