A new service called Flavors.me, currently in invitation-only beta mode, hopes to become your online destination for all things social. The idea behind the service is simple, and certainly not new, but Flavors.me’s execution far surpasses its competitors such as AIM Lifestream and Streamy.
Flavors.me, as well as AIM Lifestream and Streamy, creates a central location to display tweets, Facebook posts, pictures, reading lists, music interests, and much more in something referred to as a lifestream (little L makes a big difference).
The idea behind Flavors.me is somewhat different, though, as it creates a publicly-accessible page. With the new service, rather than having multiple online destinations where interested people can find your web presence, you can direct them to one place that aggregates the otherwise-disjointed information.
I recently received an invitation to the Flavors.me beta, and I have to say, the service far surpasses that of AIM Lifestream or any other competitor. First, unlike its competitors, Flavors.me pages are meant for sharing and cannot be password protected. Second, its interface is much simpler, yet it boasts some important features that other services lack. In addition, the overall design is much cleaner without sacrificing aesthetics.
On the backend, the options page is separated into three categories:
- Basic Info: specify your name and an “about” blurb, as well as whether you’d like a small icon linking back to Flavors.me displayed on your page.
- Services: as the name implies, you control the sites aggregated on your Flavors.me page from here, including the title used to identify each service (nice if you use multiple Twitter handles or add multiple blogs).
- Account: set your username (http://flavors.me/username), password, and email address
Once you’ve completed your Basic Info and added at least one service, you can view your page and modify its design. Three is apparently the magic number, as there are that many designs: Simple, Widescreen, and Accordion.
- Simple shows your name and about blurb on the left, followed by your list of services. Clicking on a service title displays its content on the right side of the page.
- In Widescreen, your services are shown across the top of the page. Clicking on a service fills the rest of the screen with its content.
- Accordion view centers your name on the page followed by your services. Selecting a service title causes it to expand, revealing that service’s content.
The design pane also lets users supply their own backgrounds, choose from a wide variety of fonts, and select one of eight included color schemes. The color schemes can then be further modified to one’s liking. In contrast to Flavors.me, AIM Lifestream doesn’t let users set color scheme or layout, though Streamy does provide three canned themes.
Further separating Flavors.me from its competitors are the services it supports, an aspect that makes it more flexible than either AIM Lifestream or Streamy. The services supported by each offering are detailed below.
Of all the services Flavors.me supports, RSS may be one of the most beneficial, especially for bloggers. Not only can I include the feed for disparate.info, but I can also include feeds from unsupported services such as delicious and StumbleUpon.
While each service serves a different need, Flavors.me is the most useful of the three because it creates an online “business card” that consolidates a users’ internet presence. Among upcoming features promised by its developers, the service will let users utilize custom domain names for their pages.
To see Flavors.me in action, visit my profile at http://flavors.me/ethitter.
- AIM Lifestream aggregates away messages from the AIM system as status updates alongside tweets and Facebook posts, but does not support chat from within its web interface. Certain versions of the AIM chat application do, however, provide access to Lifestream updates. Also note that Streamy does provide chat support for AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, and Windows Live Messenger, but does not aggregate status updates from any of those platforms. ↩