February 12, 2010

The New 2010 Social Media Data Flow, With Buzz

I Can Explain... Just Read Below

Two of the more annoying, yet almost inevitable, results of being active on multiple social media services are entry duplication, and repetitiveness for people who may follow you in multiple places. With the introduction of Google's Buzz platform earlier this week, I am seeing even more concerns as people face a challenge of where to put their activity, and how to move data from one service to another. It's something I give a lot of thought to, and continue to refine, to the best of my ability. As many have asked, I thought I would share my current strategy.

First, I wanted to highlight my discussion of this from back in May of 2009, when I said you should Know and Master Your Social Media Data Flow. I even posted a SlideShare presentation on how to optimize this flow for all networks (see it here)

But as things change, networks come and go, with some disappearing (like Socialmedian) and others taking their place (Buzz).

As my comments stated in May, the ease of data creation and distribution can set up conflicts, as one tries to decide how to best send updates from one network to another. Often, people give up trying and resort to services like Ping.fm to send the same thing everywhere. With all deference to that service, now owned by Seesmic, it seems like a copout.

My goal, as it was then, is to create the content once, and have it land once, in the right places, as determined by the potential audience. As I see it, there are two categories of outlets, the content creation sites, and the content collectors. For me, my major content collectors are FriendFeed, Google Buzz, and to a lesser extent, Facebook, which I do not optimize well for, admittedly. For me, the content creation sites can be this blog, my Google Reader shares, Delicious bookmarks, Cinchast recordings, or photos from Smugmug and Flickr. Twitter works both as a creator of content and a distributor of content. Friendfeed also does an amazing job at redistributing content.

Don't Give Up Kevin! You Can Do It!

Content Creation

1. Blog Posts

Blog Posts from LouisGray.com are sent by e-mail, using FeedBlitz, to about 200 readers by e-mail. The posts are also sent, via RSS to a few thousand recipients. FeedBurner tells me there are 21,000 subscribers, but that includes FriendFeed, and is well known for overcounting. In addition, these posts go directly to Google Buzz. This is not an issue unless I share the item in Google Reader and introduce duplicates. When I do this, I almost always delete the duplicate on FriendFeed, for cleanliness sake.

2. Twitter Activity

My Twitter activity populates both Google Buzz and FriendFeed, as well as Twitter itself.

3. Google Reader Shared Items

Shares from Google Reader, almost 30 a day now, go to FriendFeed and Buzz, as well as a new Twitter account for this, called @lgstream. I wouldn't want to overpollute my main Twitter stream.

4. Delicious Bookmarks

I track all blog linkage on Delicious and flow those items through FriendFeed to Twitter. Lately, I have been editing the saved boomarks to include /by or /via language including the person's Twitter handle. (Example: here) These bookmarks also populate @lgstream on Twitter.

5. CinchCast Audio Recordings

Cinch podcasts let me post directly to Twitter and Facebook from the iPhone app, a major win for the product. Often, I choose just to send to Twitter. I also pull in the RSS feed of my CinchCasts to FriendFeed, and have the option, later, to embed recordings here on this blog.

6. Miscellaneous Status Updates

Updates posted natively to FriendFeed go to Facebook, and some go to Twitter, depending on my choice. Updates to Facebook status stay in Facebook. Updates directly on Buzz stay in Buzz, but also populate the @lgstream account.

7. YouTube Videos and Photos

All rich media I make goes to FriendFeed. YouTube and Flickr are registered with Buzz, but I have not used them yet. YouTube updates automatically populate my Twitter account.

What Feeds My Buzz

Content Collectors

1. FriendFeed

FriendFeed's goal has always been to act as an aggregator of all my services. That's why FriendFeed gets more content than any other site. It also works best to repurpose as my stream into Facebook, and as a filter, to send some choice items to Twitter (as many as I would like). I am not sending FriendFeed to Google Buzz, and avoid duplicates this way.

2. Google Buzz

Buzz is largely a platform for my Google Reader shares and blog posts. It gets Twitter as well, but not immediately. As I worked for the last few years to cultivate a strong conversational community in my Google Reader shares, the conversations continue to flow and are very active.

3. Facebook

I am not optimizing much for Facebook today. It has never been a huge generator of conversation or traffic for me, though I could do a better job. I pull in my FriendFeed updates for my tech connections there, and know some friends or family have muted my noisy feed - always a risk when you mix different social circles.


Due to my fairly active stream and engagement in many places, it can seem busy. If people choose to follow more than one of my content collectors (for example, FriendFeed or Buzz), they can see duplication and get discouraged. But I cannot assume that they are the same audience, and I need to make the most content available in each place. What I do not want to do is share multiple instances of the same item, and annoy the crowd who has opted in to see me just once.

When you look at where your data is going, make sure you aren't sending everything to all places and annoying everyone who knows you aren't optimizing. Don't pipe one content collector into another. If you can make a second account that is for content only, as I have, go for it. And as always, if there is activity in your feed downstream, listen to the responses, and act on it.

You can find me on Google Buzz here, or on FriendFeed, Facebook or Twitter.