Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Lifestream WP Plugin for WordPress

Posted in Code,Plugins,Wordpress by Elliott Back on December 14th, 2006.

I liked the idea of a Lifestream view for my blog, so I took at Chris J. Davis’ Lifestream plugin. Unfortunately, it was limited to a small subset of RSS feeds, which I did not find useful. So, I rewrote the “engine” behind the lifestream to produce my own lifestream plugin. Enjoy!

Version 0.1 BETA! Use at own risk! Not production code!

Features: What it does

You might wonder what this lifestream implementation offers over others. The primary differences are:

  • Pluggable, auto-detected data-source modules
  • Disk-based caching interface
  • RSS, Database, Facebook, Flickr API integration

WP-Lifestream ships with the following modules: WordPress, Flickr, Facebook, Last.fm, and Wordie. Here’s a screenshot of it in action:


Download & Installation

This is the hard part. Download lifestream.zip. You’ll need to do the following, then:

  • Put wp-cron.php in your plugins folder and activate it
  • Put the entire data folder into your theme folder
  • Put stream.php and life.php into your theme folder
  • Customize stream.php to fit your template
  • Put images/lifestream somewhere sensible and change the references to it
  • If you want to use the Facebook or Flickr widgets, edit data/lib/common.php with your credentials
  • Make things writable that need to be. Things like data/lib/flickrcache, data/lib/cookie.txt, and data/cache are good places to start

That’s a pain. I’ll make it easier in the future, I promise.

Adding a new source

Adding a new source is the easiest and most fun part of the new infrastructure. There are just three things to do:

1) Write a class which implements a method called Refresh(){…} which will be called whenever the caches need to be refreshed and a method called Items(){…} which should return an array[time] = array(title, link), and has a member name defining its unique display name.

2) Create a file for your new source, and put it in the data directory. It should call $lifestream->AddService with your class, like $this->AddService(new YourDataSource());

3) Create a nice icon and add it to the images/lifestream folder and in stream.php. In the future module classes will be fully encapsulated with their own styles and icons.

If you do create a new class of source, please email me and I’ll include it immediately!


.01 – initial version

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2006 at 1:53 am and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

42 Responses to “Lifestream WP Plugin for WordPress”

  1. Perfect lifestream plugin wordpress thank you

  2. […] Lifestream seems like the oldest one out there. But the plugin seemed complex and would require me to write a […]

  3. Ordu says:

    is it work?

  4. duşakabin says:

    sorry for the comments back to back.

    figured it out. turned off facebook source and it works. hopefully there will be a php4 version soon.

  5. Travis Q says:

    Great plugin, I've been using it for some time and only have one request.

    Is there any way to put the icons on a transparent background? I dont have “white” as the bg color for my content section, therefore I have these icons with a white background on my page.

  6. rampantheart says:

    Cool plugin! I can't wait to try this!

    BTW, why have you not included your own lifestream page? I would like to see a demo page.

  7. robort says:

    thanks your plugin

  8. Hi,

    Elliot, I was interested in lifestreaming, and i found your app.

    However, it was a little frustrating to get to grips with, so I hacked together my own…. taking inspiration from your idea but using SimplePie.

    Its now hit fully fledged plugin status, with admin options page etc, and WYSIWYG feed styling etc.

    Cheers for the inspiration :)


  9. Chaos' Inc. says:

    I agree with Pete, it is indeed rather a nice little hack than a plugin… cool work anyway man! Visit my site sometime!



  10. ThePete says:

    Wow, well, this plugin ended up being way too complicated for me. I’m not sure how anyone has gotten it to work, but hey more power to you if you did get it to work. I guess I’m confused because this isn’t really a plugin. It’s more of a hack or work-around. Ah well, thanks, anyway!

  11. dusakabin says:

    thank you for your work, all works deserves a thank you

  12. jez says:

    I am using a different lifestream now, but thanks for contacting me back then in march elliott!!

  13. […] Si quieren crear su lifestream en su blog desarrollado en WordPress, les aviso que los plugins por ahora disponibles son bastante complejos de configurar e implican meter mano en sus templates. Pero si se animan, pueden ver en los blogs de Elliott Back y Chris Davis. También hay un plugin para Expression Engine, el sucesor de Pmachine. […]

  14. abhi says:

    sorry for the comments back to back.

    figured it out. turned off facebook source and it works. hopefully there will be a php4 version soon.

    thank you.

  15. abhi says:


    i only have php4, i think thats the issue.

  16. abhi says:


    got the page template up. but i get this error

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR or ‘}’ in lib/facebookapi_php5_restlib.php on line 17

  17. abhi says:

    Hey elliot
    thanks for this. i did all as per your list. even added flickr. also setup a page called ‘lifestream’


    but its all missing. what do i do to get this up and running?

  18. jez says:

    any news elliott?
    I am looking forward towards some testing :)

  19. jez says:

    oh basically I tried changing the cron job to “now” and it started to fill up the page. but only with wordpress posts.

    when I got it set to hourly, I get

    SSL certificate problem, verify that the CA cert is OK. Details: error:14090086:SSL routines:SSL3_GET_SERVER_CERTIFICATE:certificate verify failed
    Fatal error: Exception thrown without a stack frame in Unknown on line 0

    also none of the flickr etc. displays, I’d really like to give your code a shot, so if you find some time to update things, I’d appreciate that loads!

  20. jez says:

    hey elliot, thanks for publishing this to the community.
    I wonder though why I am getting a blank page. the css is inserted correctly. I changed all instances where my personal information had to be inserted, also I added a ‘ in common.php, it caused an error.

    any idea?
    thanks a lot!

  21. Solltex says:

    Trial that Thank you.

  22. […] WP Lifestream keeps a log of your online activity (postings on various sites). I am definitely using this. […]

  23. […] WP Lifestream keeps a log of your online activity (postings on various sites). I am definitely using this. […]

  24. Elliott Back says:

    Yeah, there’s a chance of an update soon. I just got back from London so give me a while. I need to update this, do some work on another site, and some work on WP Autoblog.

  25. Sam Sethi says:

    I like the idea of a lifestream and tried the plugin but I am struggling how this appears on a page? What is the URL I need to use?

  26. Krynsky says:

    Hi Elliott,

    Any chance you will be updating the plugin soon? Have you considered using API’s instead of feeds when available? Also some archiving or pagination would be good too…your stream is pretty large and the page takes quite a while to load. I look forward to seeing where you take this next. I think this concept can really take off soon.


  27. […] 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. […]

  28. Elliott Back says:

    Oops, I guess I was a bit careless in stripping out some private info, passwords and the like. Well, I will update this sometime in the near future and fix that, as well as refactor a few things.

  29. Bill says:


    Just go into that file "common.php" and then edit the last line of the function "Refresh" (line 242) by putting a single tick ( ‘ ) after the facebook id and before the round parentheses )

  30. flo says:

    Hi Elliot,

    do you know how i can run the script under php4?
    I like your option to cache the feeds.
    My problem is that i´m a php noob.

    Thank you,


  31. noname says:

    it would be nice to install and use lifestream as easy as sidebar widgets

  32. […] Of course one can solve problems with the other RSS-feeds by scraping them and writing new feeds which Lifestream (or rarther the underlying magpieRSS bundled with wordpress) can handle. I assume this is the idea behind the other Lifestream plugin by Elliot Black (I havent tried this one out). […]

  33. […] Elliott Back ha riscritto il motore di Lifestream creando un plugin un po’ più versatile. L’installazione è ancora piuttosto complessa, ma si può cominciare a personalizzare parecchio il proprio “flusso”. […]

  34. M says:

    Nice Plugin. Im going to test it. Does it support twitterupdates?

    BTW: Im looking for a plugin that embeds a jabberwacky chatbot or different kind of chatbot in the sidebar for a wordpress system. Maybe widgetized. The important thing is, that this chatbot should be teachable by his users. Something like Prelude or A.L.I.C.E would be great. Any idea?

  35. […] Lifestream WP Plugin for WordPress by Elliott Back (tags: plugin wordpress lifestream) […]

  36. […]    Lifestream,生成一个汇聚你网上活动的页面,自动更新,包括:Wordpress, Flickr, Facebook, Last.fm, Wordie。   这个安装步骤比较多: […]

  37. […] Lifestream WP Plugin der viser din aktivitet paa alle dine sites (tags: wordpress plugin) […]

  38. […] Lifestream WP Plugin for WordPress by Elliott Back Interesting plugin tying various sites/services that a person may blog/post/interact with and creates a stream of all the information. May have to check this one out on WordPress when I get some time (tags: wordpress plugins lifestream blogging WP plugin) […]

  39. […] Lifestream WP Plugin for WordPress by Elliott Back Plugin de WordPress, que la verdad no entendi muy bien para que sirve, pero intuyo que es “chori” (tags: wordpress plugin plugins lifestream) […]

  40. Ken Savage says:

    And where’s your Lifestream page?

  41. […] tagged facebook, flickr, lifestream, linkyloo, plugin, wordpress and WordPress Plugins   View blog reactions If you enjoyed this post from Weblog Tools Collection please Subscribe to the RSS feed. RelatedPosts from the Past: […]

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