One of the favourite jokes amongst my kids right now is the one about Youtube, Twitter and Facebook all merging to make a new service called YouTwitFace:
And now, just as I was getting used to Twitter (I finally signed up in April), along comes Google+.
But I haven’t yet figured out how to connect up Twitter with my WordPress blog and my Facebook page. Facebook seems like a good way to keep in touch with people, except some of my “friends” keep polluting the news stream with stuff about their fantasy lives on virtual farms and stuff, and the whole thing seems overburdened with unnecessary features. Twitter seems to have a much better signal-to-noise ratio (although maybe that’s because I’m only following a bunch of workaholics, or at least people who keep their personal lives separate).
Now what I really want isn’t another competitor. I want an automated blend of the best aspects of the existing services. I want to combine my facebook newsfeed and my twitter feed, while filtering out the farmville crap. I want to automatically include the RSS feeds from blogs that I follow, but filter out duplicates for those people who also tweet and/or link their blog posts in facebook. I want my blog to create automatic tweets when I post (I’ve now tried several different WordPress plugins for this, and none of them work). And for tweets announcing new blog posts, I want more than Twitter offers – I at least want to know which blog it is. Twitter tends to give me just the title/subject of the post and a cryptic URL. I actually like Facebook’s approach best here, where you get a brief excerpt from the blog post in the feed.
And now if I start using Google+, I have another feed to blend in. Blending the feeds ought to be easy, from a technical point of view. But if it’s easy, why aren’t there simple pushbutton solutions already? Do I really have to write my own scripts for this? Does everyone?
It’s enough to make me sign up for the Slow Science Movement:
We are scientists. We don’t blog. We don’t twitter. We take our time.