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Ok, now that we understand the evils of posting across multiple services, let’s talk about the basic ways we can go about keeping track of these services.
The main issue with cross-posting using services like Ping.fm and Hellotxt is that you’re not actually engaging with people, you’re just using their time-line as your own personal billboard. I’m pretty sure this is detrimental to your personal brand.
If you don’t care about your personal brand, let’s just say it makes you look like a total noob.
There are 3 simple ways that you can interact with a micro-blogging service short of visiting the website. There may be other ways, but I choose these because I actually use most of them on a daily basis.
Identi.ca has full IM support
You can send and receive all your updates via IM. Simply login to http://identi.ca and go to Settings->IM, then follow the directions.
Kwippy provides alerts via IM
Kwippy will IM you when you recieve new comments, private message and various other things you might want to know. To set it up, login to Kwippy and visit your dashboard. The first thing you see should be the instructions for activating IM support.
TwitterSpy pretty much replaces Twitter’s IM functionality
Twitter is currently working feverishly to restore IM functionality. They also plan to implement a monetization strategy, completely fix the spam problem, and bring about peace in the middle east. Until their work is complete, you can use TwitterSpy.
Simply add ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ to your GTalk buddy list. Typing “help” will give you a list of commands. Don’t worry about all that right now:
- track @<username> (this will make sure you get your @replies)
- twlogin <username> <password> (this logs you into twitter)
- post <message> (now you can post to Twitter via IM….again)
For those who miss the “track” feature on Twitter: “help track”. (more info on TwitterSpy).
Most services allow you to receive basic notices via email. Identi.ca does allow posting via email, but I don’t see a method to receive updates on any of the micro-blogging services I’m actually using.
That is not to say this isn’t possible. There are various hacks and services you could use such as TwitterMail and this one. Those work (I guess) for Twitter. I’m pretty sure you could do something similar with Identi.ca. As for the others, I’m not sure.
Identi.ca supports SMS via Email
This means that you can receive your updates if your carrier has an Email<->SMS gateway. Most do. Just check the settings to see if your carrier is listed.
Twitter has full SMS support
I know this may come as a shock, but Twitter actually has SMS support. I believe it works pretty good. You should check it out.
Earlier, I read an account of one user’s Ping.fm usage and he brought an important point to light. I think the majority of issues come from mobile users.
It’s easy as hell to “Ping” from your phone. Ping.fm provides an interface for mobile phones and a specialized interface for iPhones.
Why is this a problem? Well, the cards are stacked against us! Ping.fm can already post to just about any service you can think of, then they support new services almost as soon as they’re released.
These micro-blogging services haven’t even had a chance to provide mobile users with a way to access their updates. So, we have a bunch of people running around Ping.fm’ing the crap out of us with no way to monitor our replies without actually visiting 4 or 5 different websites from their phone.
Bottom line is, it’s still your responsibility to be aware of your actions. Just because you’re holding a hammer, doesn’t mean everything is a nail. You know you’re not very active on certain services, so stop broadcasting to them.
If you are hell bent on trying to talk to everyone at once, you need to be just as passionate about being able to listen to everyone at once.