I need help. No really, I do. No snark, sniping or sarcasm this time – I need some honest-to-pete technological counsel. While this is not a problem your average Internet user faces, it is something those of us living in our browsers struggle with daily: how do you choose where to post stuff?
I have The Guidewire blog. My Tumblr account. Facebook profile. And Twitter. Oh and there’s Sharp Skirts, but that runt of the litter hasn’t been updated since Sarah Palin first graced us with her presence. Arguably, each of those sites has a different audience and focus. Of course the audiences overlap. And are also disparate. My high school Facebook friends don’t care about tech startups. Actually some of them do. Are you grasping my problem here?
I finally emerged from my cold-medicine fog this morning and, as usually happens with renewed energy, had a dozen items I wanted to share: a picture of the Loch Ness Monster (ahem), a fabulous Bill Withers tune, a quick comment to my tech friends in Austin (soon to be my new home!), a quiz to find out which Tarantino character I was (that had particularly high priority), and apparently ten thousand parenthetical remarks to accompany each item.
It didn’t take long for me to grow frustrated, as I had a decision to make with each item: where does this go? Do I tweet it, which will also dump it into my Facebook status – unless it contains a link, which will add it to my Facebook feed? Post it on my Tumblr account? What the hell do I have a Tumblr account for, anyway? Should I just save everything for the giant link-dump that The Vortex is becoming? When can I stop asking questions?
This is a technology problem that desperately needs an answer. Give me one feed to rule them all, as it were. I don’t care where it lives. I don’t care if it filters down into 100 different sites and services. Just give me one button to push, no decisions to make, and one united audience. To avoid inundation on the reader end, perhaps filter the feed by subject. So my tech stuff gets one designation and elusive mythical creatures gets another. Then followers choose what they want.
At one time not so long ago, I believe this magic solution was called a blog. You posted interesting items and thoughts and categorized them. People commented and forwarded the link to their friends. It worked pretty well. But blogs are no longer sufficient and our sharing has quickly become over-sharing. So here we find ourselves, members of more communities than we can keep track of, asking our friends and followers to come visit us here. No wait, go over there. But have you seen that up there? Honestly, I don’t know what the solution is. But could someone come up with it? It seems we’re way past the point of having one, unified, all-purpose online identity.
Now I’m going to hit publish on this post, which will send it to my Facebook feed. Then I’ll send out a tweet with a link. Maybe I’ll even call my mom and give her the URL…