Monolithic me feeds and automatic cross-posting

A while back, I created a web feed of all my stuff until I realised it was actually kind of pointless. As well as depriving the hypothetical stalker the satisfaction of collating all my output (hardly a difficult exercise) it was veering toward egotism. You like my photos? Well then, let me tell you what I’m listening to! Interested in my saved links? Then you’ll need to know everything I’m doing! Can you opt out? Sadly not, you can only opt in. Now you can even build one for your friends.

I guess the justification for this is to provide your subscribers with a one-click feed rather than having to add your stuff individually but I’d say that rolling my own mix is all part of the fun. Give me the salad bar, not a salad ‘tap’. Even if I do happen to want your exact blend, I might prefer to have it unmixed so I can, for instance, put your photo feed with my other photos feeds for when I’m in a photo browsing mood.

This is kind of related to my second gripe of the day: cross feeding. For example, you automatically produce a Twitter post that tells me you have just blogged (probably on the subject of Twitter). I’m subscribed to both your blog and your Twitter feeds so I get this twice. Maybe it’s good promotion for you but it’s mindless duplication for me and it makes my unsubscribe finger awfully itchy. Are there bloggers out there who automatically produce a blog post of their daily Twitters which is then automatically announced on Twitter? Enough already!

What you need to be doing is to be cross-linking rather than cross-posting; using your profiles on the different platforms to construct identity hubs like claimID or your-own-name dot com or a smart combination of both. This will make the Google Social Graph API and your information-overloaded friends very happy and reduce my online deja vu.

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