One of the posts that made me think in the past week was called Unlink your feeds. It is a manifesto by Tim Maly of Quiet Babylon which calls for us to “stop automatically dumping [our] feeds from one account into another.”
This is contrary to the way many of us choose to operate. When I started blogging the best advice was to spread your feed around and have it appear absolutely everywhere. When lifestreaming services started appearing it was a simple matter to import my blog feed to make another location where people could keep up with my content.
Why Link Your Feeds?
There are several advantages to doing this:
- you make your content available in the location where people are
- you increase the number of mentions you get online
- as a result you might boost your social karma (if that’s important to you)
Why Linking Feeds May Be Bad
There’s no denying that a search for my name will bring up several of the social media sites where I have a presence and that’s not all bad. At the same time there are several disadvantages of having everything appear everywhere.
- your content is duplicated all over the web
- you are boring your friends and followers, particularly if they follow you in more than one location
- you are adding to the information overload (without adding anything new or useful)
I was particularly struck by the part of Tim’s manifesto that posited a better way.
He points out that each social network is different and therefore you should interact differently on each of them. His statement has a ring of truth. While my audience intersects there are some people who only appear on a single network and I have to admit that some of those people probably get short-changed. I can just about keep my head above water with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – any more would require more time than I have, so I may not interact as much with those who befriend me on some of the less active networks.
Living The Manifesto?
Perhaps that’s one reason why Tim’s manifesto struck a chord with me. The other is that I have been trying to reduce duplication on my social media accounts for the last few weeks. I have reduced the number of sources going in to Friendfeed and pared down my Facebook stream. And on my new Tumblr account I have gone one better and decided not to import any existing sources at all but to save it for something I am not posting anywhere else.
Have you read this manifesto? How do you feel about it? Has it changed the way you treat your feeds?