Wow. Do you really want to read this? I mean, check out that title. Talk about a complete and utter lack of sex appeal. Good thing I wrote the title last. If I had written that title before I tried to write this post I would have probably gotten bored and taken a nap instead.
Well lucky for you I DID write this post. That’s enough intro – let me get into it…
When I write a blog post, such as this one, I like to tell my friends about it. I tell my friends on Facebook by posting it to my profile. However, I also want to tell me friends on Twitter about it, so I’ll post a message on my Twitter account as well. I’ll also post the blog on my Tumblr account so my Tumblr friends can see it. See the problem? I’m posting the same content to 4 different places. This WordPress blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. It’s kind of a pain.
But in May 2009 a solution came along! A service called Posterous makes sharing content with friends across multiple platforms coloring-book easy. I just send my content to Posterous once and it automatically posts it to my Posterous page, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. One step to tell all my friends about a new blog post? Awesome.
Posterous make the distribution of my content really easy – but that’s not what this blog post is about (tricked!). This blog post is about what happens AFTER the content is posted and why it’s a broken system.
Sending out a post is just the beginging; It’s the first phase in the life of the content. Next (if my content is good) people will begin responding with comments. Friends usually send me comments about a blog post on Twitter, leave a comment on Facebook, or comment right here on this blog. Also, people occassionaly (okay, never) comment on my Tumblr. Soon each platform starts to gather comments. It looks like this:
Can you see the problem? There are four separate conversations happening around the same content. I find this extremely frustrating. From the author’s point of view, I’m getting feedback on four separate platforms (often repeating myself) and have to bounce between several websites to keep up. From the reader’s point of view, they are missing out on quality discussion happening on other platforms. For example, readers on Facebook can’t see the discussion happening on Twitter. On top of that, readers’ comments actually become less valuable because they aren’t reaching readers on other platforms!
Here’s my dream. The graphic below shows the same number of comments at the one above (color coded — 3 on Twitter, 1 on Facebook, 2 on the WordPress blog, and 1 on Tumblr) but the comments are cross-platform… meaning that a comment left on Facebook is also displayed on the WordPress blog, where it is obviously also relevant and valuable.
The discussion is no longer fragmented. All comments are visible on each platform. For example, if someone replies to my post on Twitter, that reply also posts to my Facebook, blog, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts auto-magically.
The value of the user interaction goes up for eleven two reasons. First, more people can enjoy each comment because each comment appears across multiple platforms. Second, readers can enjoy (and respond to) everyone else’s comments – regardless of where it came from. I’m no mathematician, but I think that quadruples the value of each comment (I made that up).
If the value of user interaction goes up, the value of the content goes up, and I’m happy.
What do YO U think? Am I making sense? Please take a second to leave a comment. Your feedback means a lot to me.