Social Media Cyborg
TL;DR: Since Google Reader lost it's sharing, I've decided to revisit my "social media strategy". I'm plugging lots of things into other things. I feel like maybe I should write about this stuff.
This is what I do for fun
Since I've mentioned in a few places that I'm a weirdo, I thought I might spend some time explaining exactly what I mean by that. You see, one of my hobbies is turning myself into a human content filter for friends on the web.
And, honestly, having my sharing habits shaken up by the Readerpocalypse makes it fun again.
The image over to the right is an attempt I made to diagram some of my social media flow. It's incomplete, though: I'm a cheapsake and ran out of free objects in my diagram. So, I had to leave out at least a half-dozen more services and a dozen additional connections. (LucidChart is very nice, by the way.)
In other words, ifttt.com is awesome
In particular, I've finally spent some time with ifttt.com. It's like Automator for the social web. It lets you define event triggers from one site that cause actions on another site.
So, I've gone crazy and created a bunch of tasks that make things like the following possible:
Pinboard bookmarks based on favorites from Twitter, identi.ca, YouTube, Last.fm, and my Kindle highlights. I'm turning my Pinboard account into both my personal social media archive and a Google Reader sharing replacement, and I don't even have to beg for new features at Pinboard.
Tumblr photo posts based on Reddit up-votes, Flickr favorites, and Pinboard bookmarks tagged "to:tumblr". Since creating it, I've left my Tumblr almost entirely neglected—but now with ifttt.com, I can route almost every nifty image I find over to that thing. It's the right side of my outboard brain to the Pinboard left.
Published items from from my private installation of Tiny Tiny RSS end up shared on Pinboard. This pretty much scratches my itch for feed reader sharing, since Google nixed those features from Reader.
Starred items from tt-rss get sent to Instapaper, so I can read them on my Kindle later. If email delivery of documents start working, then I'll have a personal long-attention span newspaper delivered regularly to that gadget.
In fact, almost everything I do everywhere eventually ends up posted to Facebook, because I almost never post anything in person over there. I do have friends and family over there and respond to comments, though.
What's the point?
The important principle here is that I'm lazy. If there's a single button to click somewhere that expresses my happiness about a thing, I'd like to click it and have that happiness shared and archived elsewhere without me doing much (or anything) more. The scheme I have now feels pretty good for that, and ifttt.com does a huge amount to help.
The other important thing is that I am at the center of these connections. I don't live entirely on any single service, and anything I care about is archived where I can easily grab it for backups or mashups. Should any particular service node in this web fail, I can probably do without, find an alternative, or build one myself.
My goal is to eventually replace as many of these nodes as possible with self-hosted or at least Open Source derived services. (Though, of course, I'm also lazy and my friends are where they are. So, that goal will take awhile.)
One more thing...
I've got an idea for my next book simmering. And, since I've so far managed to write books about the major things I've done for fun, I feel I'd be remiss if I skipped this stuff. I mean, I sort of covered the same ground all in my first and second books, but things have progressed since then.
What this means is that all the above feels like a warm up for the coding and prosing I'll need to do. I just need to get my shit together and carve out the time to make it happen.