I just got a beta signup to Ping.fm, so I’ve been trying it out over the past half hour or so. Essentially it posts a message to all your microblogging/status update services at once from one place. Here’s my first post:
“hoping I’ve successfully added my identi.ca account to ping.fm”
And indeed I have! It’s easy to set up. Now it’s just a question of deciding (carefully) which services to use it for.
And herein lies the rub. Because my use of ping.fm and other social media/web 2.0 services raises a related problem which could soon make signing up to any more services counterproductive: that is the problem of information duplication, also “noise“.
Every time I update ping.fm, it sends that update to Facebook, Twitter, Identi.ca and Tumblr (at the moment). However, I’ve set up twitterfeed to post all my tumblr updates to Twitter, so that will repeat information on Twitter - not good. To make matters worse, Twitter and Tumblr posts also appear on my Friendfeed, leading to further reduplication of information.
And so on. It turns out – surprise, surprise – that the more social media/aggregation services you use, the more complicated it becomes to manage your online lifestream.
Happily, you can customise Ping.fm to a certain extent to ensure that only certain types of update are sent to certain services. So you can, for example, set ping.fm to only sent status updates to Twitter, Facebook and Identi.ca, whereas microblogs and blogs are reserved for WordPress and Tumblr.
This is good to an extent, but it does mean you have to think carefully about the services you use if you’re into lifestreaming on Friendfeed etc. and you don’t want to piss off your followers.
How about you? Anyone else who compulsively signs up to new web 2.0 aggregation services and gets deluged by repeat info – leave a comment and let me know how you deal with information overload.