Social Portal – Sweetcron

I recently wrote a blog post indicating that I’d look into the new Sweetcron web app. So, over the weekend I dived in and explored its potential.

Sweetcron - Rob Enslin

What is Sweetcron?

A Sweetcron is a free and open source solution for creating a self-hosted Lifestream; a blog-like website that shows your activity across the various websites.
A Sweetcron is very much like a blog that aggregates all your data feeds from your various websites into one site – a website I call my Social Portal. The real beauty of a Sweetcron is the ability to view and comment on individual data-feed inline (no need to wonder off to other websites). A Sweetcron uses the idea of a timeline and gives it the human feel of time progression. Much like the Meghan’s Lifecast where the time is represented horizontally, the Sweetcron uses individual blocks of activity down a mainly vertical axis (is fully customiseable too).

Why do a Sweetcron?

Because like all new technologies it’s important to discover potential solutions. It may not be the perfect type of web app, but with a bit of imagination and business vision solutions will inevitably ‘appear’. This portential is echoed by Web Designer Chris Coyier in his Sweetcron post on Nettuts:
Sweetcron is a relatively new software, but its ease of use, great user interface and extensibility are surely going to be help it take off. I could see it amassing a huge user base and even stealing a little market share away from blogging giants like WordPress.

What you need to setup a Sweetcron?

Unlike many web 2.0-flavoured hosted solutions (WordPress, Blogger etc) Sweetcron relies on you to provide the server platform and setup skills. The hardware/software and skills needed include:
  • Web access – get onto the web
  • Sweetcron signup and email address – download the files
  • FTP access – get the files across to your server
  • PHP Server – runs/understands the installed Sweetcron files
  • MySQL database – a place to store and sort the generated content
  • Text editor – edit the PHP files for configuration
  • Image editing software – amend graphics to personalise it
  • Follow and understand the technical instructions
  • Commenting app (optional) – I used Disqus

Benefits of a Sweetcron?

  • Free
  • Relatively easy to instal and configure
  • Good looking
  • User-generate content in the form of comments
  • Easily customisable
  • Self-hosted
  • Open source and some…

References:

Files and Installation: http://sweetcron.com/
Lifestream examples: Chris Coyier, Yongfook, Rob Enslin (me) and Satish Kanwar.
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