What do you get when you combine blogging and lifestreaming? You get Kakuteru, a semantic blogging mashup with funny name. The service imports your activity streams from FriendFeed and combines them with longer articles you write yourself. After you set up your Kakuteru site, its URL can then be hidden behind a domain name of your choosing so it appears as if it's your own blog.

A Lifestream? Isn't That What FriendFeed is For?

Love it or hate, there's no doubt that FriendFeed was one of the up-and-coming services of 2008. Although recently the service was the subject of a debate as to whether it would last - it's been described as too confusing and noisy for first-timers - those behind the service are asking us to give it time. Paul Buchheit, the ex-Googler and creator of Gmail who now builds FriendFeed, just recently reminded us that "overnight success takes a long time."

That said, if you're like many of the FriendFeeders we've seen out there, your lifestream on FriendFeed's site is probably being ignored. The only people whose streams are rewarded with likes and comments are those belonging today's big web personalities or those belonging to people who spend hours per day on site participating in the community and building a name for themselves.

That's why a service like Kakuteru, which finally lets you do something with your FriendFeed lifestream, is so appealing. Instead of hoping that someone will chance upon your activity on FriendFeed's site, Kakuteru uses FriendFeed as the raw source code of a lifestream which can then be modified as you wish by switching services on or off. All the while, the Kakuteru stream sits behind your own personal domain name, branding, and customized design.

Kakuteru is Not Sweetcron

If this sounds a little bit like Sweetcron, the self-hosted lifestream which launched back in August, you're half right. Sweetcron lets anyone host a lifestream on their own site in a way that's similar to a self-hosted WordPress installation. However, Sweetcron begins and ends at lifestreaming, but Kakuteru lets you blog, too. Update: Sweetcron developer Yongfook notes his software provides blogging functionality, but the implementation is different. Sweetcron is a lifestreaming framework and you can customize it however you want by using the API. Kakuteru offers less customization perhaps, but, by default it pins the most recent blog post to the top of the page.

This is an important difference because, let's face it, self-hosted lifestreams, while quite possibly the future, aren't necessarily going to replace long-form content by prolific writers. Yet for anyone who wants to incorporate a lifestream into their current blog now, the only other options are to create a new page on your site or smash a FriendFeed widget into your sidebar. There isn't a great way just yet to combine your lifestream and your articles into one continuous stream on the page. But with Kakuteru, you can.

The Kakuteru lifestream, which lets you toggle services on-and-off, would be even better if it let you do so on-the-fly. Instead of turning off Twitter and removing all the tweets from your lifestream, it would be great if Kakuteru would just stop posting Twitter for the time being without removing the older entries. That would perfect for bloggers who want to occasionally import extra content. For example, if attending an event, your Twitter stream could be switched on to integrate your micro-blogged activity; if recording video, you could enable your YouTube stream for a while, etc. Unfortunately, though, the Kakuteru toggle is an all-or-nothing switch at the moment.

The Kakuteru Service

Created by Dominiek ter Heide, Kakuteru has been keeping a low profile since it made its debut on Louis Gray's blog in late December. (Check out that article for a blow-by-blow on Kakuteru's features.)

At the moment, Kakuteru is in its earliest stage of development, which means the site is rough, a bit buggy, and sometimes slow. However, don't let that dissuade you: Kakuteru is a good idea. With built-in Web 3.0 features like auto-tagging (at last!) and other semantically-based options like the incorporation of articles from Zemanta, the blogging portion of Kakuteru is a glimpse of a next-gen platform.

Kakuteru also integrates Disqus comments out-of-the-box and allows you to add in other services like the Addthis social bookmarking plugin or your travel schedule from Dopplr. It even provides a native RSS feed for your stream.

Invites

Dominiek has generously offered ReadWriteWeb users invites to the still closed service. To get your invite, please comment here. (OpenID users - remember - we need your email address!). Invites will be sent out within a couple of days.