Practising what I preach

Prompted by Mark Steadman‘s comment on one of my many blog posts on the evils of crossposting, I’ve turned off the tweet digests that were (to be honest) overwhelming the nonsense blog of mine that is /ramblings.

Mark said:

“What’s your opinion then of WordPress plugins – like the ones on your own site – that post a digest of your Twitter and activity each day? Thankfully you’re not the kind of guy to tweet that stuff, but isn’t that just the same kind of cross-posting?”

With delicious digests or link dumps I can see added value; the posts give time based (and theme based when you’ve been surfing around a subject) context. This can mean that they mean more when posted to a blog rather than as separate links.

That said if a blog does nothing but republish delicious links then it’s worthless.

The delicious feeds and links that you see on this site are carefully (as much as one does) chosen to be in context — and aren’t by any means everything I save. You could subscribe to my entire delicious feed, but unless you’re my mother or my psychiatrist I think you’d be bored (and my mother would be bored anyway). I wouldn’t advise anyone to subscribe to my delicious feed en masse — I use it for a wide variety of destinations (as well as to store links for myself); things tagged “work” come here, those tagged “birminghamuk” go to BiNS, I occasionally do link collections on a subject, and others links go to other places too.  It’s just a mash of my surfing mind, not useful to others.

As for the Twitter digests posts, I can see the point of a post (for your own records as much as anything) but it needs to be carefully positioned so as not to swap the point of your blog. Of course I first set it up “because I could”, I don’t think I would these days if I hadn’t already.

In fact, I’ve turned it off and switched to archiving to my email, thanks Mark for making me think about that.

Crossposting, more people are coming round

Ariel Waldman on crossposting with social media:

Recently, there has been a rash of one-size-fits-all services that aim to provide a solution to “managing” various sites like Twitter, Pownce, Tumblr, Jaiku and Facebook all at once. As with most of my rants, they begin on Twitter and then trickle their way into a blog post – and if you’ve seen some of my tweets, you have seen my personal distaste for these services and the people who use them.

Like me, she sees it a spammy, rude and a little needy. More people are making this moral choice to talk only when they’ve got something to say — which can only be a good thing.

Hat duly tipped to Stowe Boyd, who’s in agreement.

Lifestream, but don’t tell me twice

With people barely having a thought we don’t in some way publish to the interweb there’s continuous chatter about information overload. I’ve always been of the opinion that I’d rather have all the information there was, leaving it up to me to pick what I wanted and what to ignore. It’s this that leads me to never ever getting my feed reader down to less than 2000+ unread items (most of these are flickr photos tagged “cat” or various vanity searches for my projects).

So, given that the background noise is of my own making, why would I complain about too much information?

Well I’m not complaining as such, I just think there needs to be a solution to the problem of getting the same information twice from different places. A technical one may do, but I’d rather a sort of moral code.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, with people pushing their blog posts through their tumblr or twitter accounts, or into their Facebook posted items – this is information that I want, but I’ve subscribed to the blog I’ll find it there. It would be fine if the sources were just different ways of receiving the same content, but there’s other unique stuff mixed in – I like my contacts personal tweets, or their randomly tumbl’d web content, so I get the blog posts again. You end up skim reading everything, so I’m sure I miss things I’d like to have known.


I signed up for FriendFeed this week, more to claim my online identity there that through any desire to use it at the moment, but is it just another way to push the same content? ReadWriteWeb listed 35  ways to stream your life, albeit that some of them are rather hazy, I’m just thinking that I’d rather cherry pick what I care about from different people.

Facebook noise pollution starts already

One of the reasons that Facebook has taken off so much recentley is that, I think at least, it’s a grown up social network. Even if a lot of the activity (throwing sheep, poking) is so childish the real names, real people ethos helps keep down spamming, trolling, and one hopes eventually racism.

So I wasn’t pleased to see that one of my local pubs has created a Facebook profile for itself, not a group, a profile under the name ‘Hare Hounds‘. While it’s good that they feel the web is a way to promote themselves, surely a group would have been much better – what with its discussion features, events and the like. While technology always evolves how it’s used rather than how it’s designed this is rather a blunt tool to use and I don’t really like it.

It’s the work of people that want to treat Facebook the way they treat myspace – and I hope that it won’t drive me off the site in the same way.

Support the Hare and Hounds, if you’re in the area, by visiting their website, myspace profile, or even going down for a pint, but don’t treat a pub as a person – you’ll have to start making excuses as to why you haven’t been recently.