Struggles of an infovore that likes to share

Shifting tools for link blogging & sharing

Since mid-September, I’ve gone through several rapid changes in how I share links, how I blog about them, and how I tweet those links.

In mid September I wired up If This Then That (IFTTT.com) to Twitter favorites and Google Reader shared items. At first I thought I’d push them here, to my Posterous-powered blog, but I would then never get around to expanding them. As well, the links were “lost” in the main body of the blog post.

(aside: remember mid-September? Google Reader still had social waaaay back then)

I went back and pretty much immediately rejigged things to post to a new link blog at links.bmannconsulting.com powered by Tumblr. Tumblr is interesting because it is sort of the reincarnation of structured blogging in some ways - the links are separate, there are some nice “via source” fields as well.

That worked for a while, but I was never very happy with the format of the Twitter favorites that I captured. I wanted to go read those articles, but in the end they were sometimes not worth sharing, and they made for weirdly formatted posts.

I got feedback from Lloyd in particular that he liked it when I posted an excerpt from an article and posted some commentary (visually and functionally very similar to shares in Google Reader).

And then, of course, Google Reader shares went away, and RSS Hero was born.

So, this has turned me into even more of a lean, mean, feed reading machine. But it also meant re-jigging my workflow.

So: consumption of items for sharing / link blogging comes from RSS Hero and from people I follow on Twitter.

For RSS Hero, if I don’t have much to add, I just hit ‘s’ and share the item. If I do want to add some commentary or quote a particularly good phrase (which I enjoy doing and people seem to enjoy reading as well), I hit ‘v’ and open it in a new tab for capture + commentary by Tumblr bookmarklet.

For Twitter, I spawn links into new tabs and read.

In parallel, I still have Packratius sending favorites over to Diigo. When I am reading Twitter on mobile, a simple favorite means I can then see the article by subscribing to my Diigo feed in RSS Hero, and spawning links into a new tab from there.

(I’ve never really gotten around to figuring out Instapaper or ReadItLater, although I guess a lot of people use those tools)

On the output side, I’ve added my link blog RSS feed as a share feed on my RSS Hero account, so all the items there show up as native shared items on my profile.

So, lots of separate, juicy RSS feeds that you can choose to subscribe to, in order to follow my shares. BUT, sadly, there are many people that do the majority of their link consuming only / primarily through Twitter.

(Isn’t it great to be indulging in a little blogging-about-blogging and blogging-about-tweeting? Feels like the olden days!)

I’ve also felt that while my link sharing has gone up, my being-a-source-for-cool-links-on-Twitter has gone down.

I experimented with BufferApp. Very interesting - distribute links out over the day that I am already sharing, so that my “sharing blitzes” get spread out more evenly.

Then, since I am a n00b at Tumblr, I discovered the queue feature there, which does basically the same thing as BufferApp.

Then, since I am doing mainly quote posts to satisfy Lloyd’s request for excerpts of articles, I realized that the tweets are somewhat nonsensical, whether run through Buffer or through Tumblr.

The final straw was seeing Todd’s retweet of @DouglasWhite:

Is Twitter becoming the social media dumping ground? Too many truncated rss and secondary FB posts 

The missing link here is that Tumblr quote posts don’t have a separate title field, which would let me hand craft what goes out in a tweet. I could switch to link posts, where the title is editable, but I am enjoying selecting an excerpt.

I’ve got posts in Tumblr queued up until Saturday, so you’ll see a few more truncated excerpt sentences going out until then. We’ll see if the link post type makes more sense going forward.

As per the title, so much for the struggles of an infovore that likes to share ;)

(Yes, this does sound a lot like Les Orchard’s “Social Media Cyborg” post, because we’re actually using a lot of the same ingredients.)