Monday, May 04, 2009

My web presence- getting it all to hang together.

Yesterday I posted the news that I have a new site in the process of being designed built and to ensure it not only launches smoothly, but works hard for me, I have been reviewing how all of my social media strategy hangs together.
Frankly, it's less than ideal. Here's my bad photoshopped image of what currently happens.

my content map

How it all works.
  • The whole shebang hangs off RSS. Without the RSS feeds from the content services, then it would all be manual- a total nightmare.
  • TwitterFeed is a brilliant service (I have donated) and is the hub I use for content processing into Twitter.
  • Thomasr.org posts are checked every three hours and then posted into Twitter as "Blog Post". The RSS feed automatically shoots into Facebook as a "Facebook Note". Facebook only allows one RSS feed. It's tempting to process all the feeds into Feedburner and then feed the whole lot into Facebook- but that's untenable and Facebook Spam (FBS).
  • Flickr pics also go into TwitterFeed, but are processed slightly differently. As I have varying degrees of Flickr use- occasional pics from BrightKite as well as whole car/bike sets that can number 50+ pics per car, I use the TwitterFeed feature to limit the RSS checking to once a day and 2 posts at any one time. FBS reduction right there.
  • I use BrightKite mostly on my iPhone as it can post pics to Flickr (and importantly geo tag them) and send onto Twitter as well. If I'm not using BK for pics, then it works well as a Twitter client and I use it when I want to tell everyone where I am (especially for public event hosting and similar).
  • My YouTube channel videos update once a day and one video to TwitterFeed. No need for updates more often than that as I have never posted more than one video a day and I doubt I ever will!
  • My 3AW blog posts are rare, but also update via RSS. This is a once a day thing and one post gets sent to Twitter.
  • My CarAdvice and BikeAdvice posts do not have an unique RSS feed. I think if I got to the bottom of Yahoo Pipes, I think I could feed the raw RSS into Yahoo pipes and filter it so only the podcasts and my articles make it to TwitterFeed. In the meantime, I write up a blog post pointing to the article and that starts off the Thomasr.org chain of events and that suits me for now as it gives my all-important paid work a double dose on Facebook and a single run on Twitter.
  • Two services for links I use are my Del.icio.us and Google Reader shared items and these feed into Twitter almost on the spot, though I do limit them to a maximum of 3 at a time.
  • All that done, the tweets start to automatically appear on Twitter itself.
  • My Twitter feed goes straight into FriendFeed, which also aggregates my YouTube and Blog posts independently but is smart enough (something Scoble says a lot about FF) not to double up.
  • FriendFeed then sends all aggregated (And not doubled up) content to Facebook via a Facebook app.
That last point is no longer true, but it's important to note that it was once the case. The problem now at Facebook is not one of double ups, but rather over saturation. Every single Tweet goes to Facebook. Per my previous post, I took my own advice and I'm not letting Tweets set as FB status, but it is appearing in all my friends timelines. Not all are happy:

Quite. I had a feeling this was the case, but as you can't really see when you are creating "noise" on a friend's Facebook page, I just kept going. (Not to be rude, but the more friends you have on FB, the less spammy my FB timeline appears as I am woven into the general fabric of Facebook)

Ok So what's this all mean?
The Web 2.oh services are evolving and so too are the users. In fact it's user expectation and user demands that are driving me- I think not so much about what can be done, but what's best for my readers/followers/friends. So I turned off the feed into Facebook. But I do need some sort of feed into Facebook as it is a content cul de sac (Content goes in, doesn't come out) and is very important as my friend base on Facebook increases.

So I'm going to set up a Feedburner account and aggregate most content apart from Twitter posts into Facebook as notes. It's not a huge amount and certain services like Flickr will now be handled by a Facebook App instead of FriendFeed.

Where's the conversation?
This is super critical. Corvida's post on ReadWriteWeb was very clear and I believe it.
While there's no formula for success, there are three keys to a killer web service: search, aggregation, and conversation.
So search is taken care of and I nearly have the aggregation situation about right. But it's conversation, the third and possibly most compelling element- where will that happen?

Thoughts on conversation
  • Not on my blog as it stands. I generate a fair few followers and readers, but few comments. I'm not that sort of blogger.
  • On places of content origin. That's a mixed bag. YouTube- you have to be kidding. Flickr- very occasional. BrightKite- rare. on 3AW, CarAdvice and BikeAdvice a lot of good commenting takes place and should stay there as these sites are focussed on conversation.
  • On Twitter. That tends to be short: "Good post" "nice pic" etc. Not really conversation, though it can be. Twitter conversations can be intense and real time, but also tend to disappear into the Twitter ether due to the non semantic nature of Twitter.
  • FriendFeed. I don't think so right now. Scoble may be right and FF might go mainstream, but that's going to take a while and meantime FF is silent.
  • Conversations on my content. Absolutely. So much so, that I have resolved to do two things: employ Facebook Connect on my new blog comments area and open up my friends list to Scoble-esque proportions.
So there's a bit to do and of course it's ongoing.

And it obsesses me.

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posted by thr at 10:59 am


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