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Six Apart Blog It Tool Makes Link Between Blogs And Social Networking

 2:34 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Six Apart, the software company behind blogging platforms TypePad, Movable Type, and Vox, has launched a new Facebook application called "Blog It." Facebook members who install the application can post to multiple blogging services at one time, update their Facebook status in sync with micro-blogging services like Twitter, and have updates from the app appear in their Facebook Mini-Feeds.

David Recordon, who holds the title of open-platforms lead tech at Six Apart, told me the thinking behind Blog It was "how we can start to bridge some of that gap between blogging and social networking." In its launch form, Blog It is a little bit limited, but seems to be on the right track; within its Facebook application, you can simultaneously update any Six Apart blogs as well as Google's Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal (formerly owned by Six Apart), and a number of others.

Six Apart Blog It Tool Makes Link Between Blogs And Social Networking [news.com]

Blog It is currently limited to Facebook's platform.



 3:19 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

[disclaimer: I don't get social networking *at* *all* and have neither a Facebook nor a Myspace page and don't have a Twitter account, in part because there's no mobile phone service where I live anyway. Not to mention that I pass most of my time reading things that were written 100 to 500 years ago, so it is perhaps no surprise that I don't get this]

I think I must be missing something. I'm not sure I understand why I would want one blog post to go out to several blogging platforms.

I understand where I might want to have it fed to Twitter announcing "My killer new post now on my blog". I also understand why I might want to be able to post to several blogging platforms, because then I'm not locked into one platform, obviously.

But why would I want to "post to multiple blogging services at one time"? Isn't that just asking for duplicate content hell?

Or for that matter, aside from being a spammer, why would I want multiple blogs with so much overlap that a given post might have several homes?

Please enlighten me? Bit by bit I'm beginning to understand how it feels to be an elderly person who doesn't "get" email.


 3:24 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

[disclaimer: I don't get social networking *at* *all* and have neither a Facebook nor a Myspace page and don't have a Twitter account, in part because there's no mobile phone service where I live anyway. So it is perhaps no surprise that I don't get this]

Me too!

More links? Man, is this a last ditch effort to suck the life out of the blogosphere? That whole thing is passe... ;)

But why would I want to "post to multiple blogging services at one time"?

So you can become another follower and now join the ranks of those who just regurgitate others content. That whole thing is one big cluster...

Receptional Andy

 3:40 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Another me too here.

Hey, the danger is that we're just grumpy old so-and-sos shaking our fists/heads at a world of inevitable change and opportunity ;)


 4:16 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>grumpy old so-and-sos

I have been saying for years that the main reason I want to get old is so that I can become an "old curmudgeon" which people find amusing and quaint, rather than the "young" (44) curmudgeon I am now, which people just find annoying!

I think I may need to have my nieces and nephews visit more.

But come one now. Someone who "gets" this please chime in and explain it to us technophobes.


 4:43 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> Isn't that just asking for duplicate content hell?
What's "duplicate content hell"?

You've got to realise that it's a different mindset. You want to build a tribe, get people to join your group, develop connections, get your friends to invite their friends and install your applications and give you space on their desktops; you want to organise events, generate buzz and get people to send more people; you want to kiss asses and find ways to get double those ass-kisses back...

It's a mindset that may not even pause to consider the effect on SEO. What's Google? He never gets any traffic from that site - and doesn't need to - so why bother?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fully subscribed member of the grumpy-old-so-and-so-club and find it difficult to get enthused about those juvenile popularity contest whorehouses, but I can understand life that doesn't need Google.

Posting to multiple blogging may have these benefits: 1) Reaching audiences who only use one type of service. 2) Getting preferential treatment from each platform owner (it is rumoured that Google gives blogs on its own service higher visibility) 3) P*mping, p*mping, p*mping - or the Web 2.0 equivalent of submitting to every directory.


 5:09 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I understand the tribe and all that, but I think this app works backwards. What I would want for the good of my tribe is something that *takes* information from all sources and unifies it into a single feed that my tribe can subscribe to and they can subscribe via Facebook or RSS or Myspace or Twitter, whichever service *they* like. *That* would make sense to me. That would be a killer app and would fulfill the promise of the open social platform.

When it comes to the blogs, I don't need to subscribe to a service to read blogger blogs. I either visit them or subscribe to RSS. It's fundamentally different from FB, Myspace, Twitter et al.

How many people have friends who follow their Blogger blog and other friends who follow their *identical* Typepad blog and, of course, family members who follow their *identical* Blogspot blog. But none of them check the Facebook blog. That's for Facebook friends.

Honestly, I think the duplicate content issue is more of a problem, not less, once Google is out of the picture. If you really have a tribe, do you want to fraction them or unify them?


 5:47 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think I can see both sides of this issue, though I am a bit more on the conservative-to-curmudgeonly end of the spectrum on it.

Deployment of content to multiple services is good from the sense that some people are more active in one type of service than another, and thus are more likely to read your content through a particular platform than another. For instance, Facebook devotees might be more inclined to read stuff there versus MySpace or directly on your blog or else where. Also, notifications of blog updates are useful for link-building.

The downside is very important to keep in mind, though, as ergophobe has highlighted. If you deploy the same identical content onto multiple platforms, you will have a duplicate content issue going on to some degree. It would be far better/preferable to have one blog post/article in one place, and then post small snippet summaries linking back to it everywhere else. This would function better, IMHO.

I do something similar since I write for a somewhat central news/info site -- I write a big article on it, then from my personal blog I'll mention that article or write an additional facet and link back to the main article.

Deployment if used wisely is useful for promotion, but unchecked widespread spamming of identical content is a bad approach.


 6:13 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

It would be far better/preferable to have one blog post/article in one place, and then post small snippet summaries linking back to it everywhere else.

I guess in this new world of blogomation, actually visiting the resource that is being referenced and writing your own snippet is out of the question huh? That would be too old school. ;)

Performing allintitle searches can be pretty revealing when it comes to blog entries. Talk about a commodity. First one to market wins. Next one to get the most links takes over the first one to market if they are powerful enough.


 6:36 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you deploy the same identical content onto multiple platforms, you will have a duplicate content issue going on to some degree.

I'm sure that 98 percent of the people that would employ this service have no idea or do not care what duplicate content is.

Just makes it easier to develop new readers IMO. More places your blog lands, more chance of people picking up on it. It's like syndication for 14 year old girls.


 8:34 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't get the post to multiple blog platforms thing either. I don't know anybody who publishes identical blogs on different platforms (blogger, typepad, wordpress, etc.)

But i do get the Facebook feed story notification and the twitter notification. When you write a blog post, you want to let everybody in your various networks to know about it.


 10:17 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's the thing. The only thing I could see mirroring across my vast empire of blogs detailing the minutiae of my life is my obituary.

The more I think about it though, the more I suspect that the reason it can publish to many blog platforms simultaneously is because that simplifies the interface to have a bunch of check boxes and ask generically "where do you want to publish this content?" In the unlikely event that the user has nine blogs where it can go, that's up to her, but mostly she'll send it out to one blog and a gazillion social networking sites that will then drive the traffic avalanche to that blog.


 10:50 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't get blogging or the Web 2.0 thingy either...
That said, I got some help from this week's issue of the The Economist, which is not hip or trendy, which took the social thing and combined it with the mobile thing and came up with this analysis-


 10:52 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Me too.. It's all too much, too much, information, news, too many life stories links, friends, networks that the friends are on (actually, not too many friends... you get the point though!), feeds, frameworks, choices, personalised this, log-in to that, got to remember this and that, passwords, details, are you using this, that, organise it with this, the other and so forth.

Had too much caffeine this morning maybe? Maybe just to wash down the too many beers from the night before.

Life's getting hectic... is t me or are we connecting too much?

They spend days on face-book now... I'm not jealous, I sometimes spend a lot of time shooting people online, at least that's achieving something though... right?


 12:58 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Social networking is indeed something like being a spammer. Its all about grabbing attention and quantifying the amount of attention you get. You have to shout louder than everyone else and so any app that can carry your voice to more people is welcome in that scene.
SEO isnt a consideration to them at all.


 2:09 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

SEO isnt a consideration to them at all.

:) The Underworld

21st Century Networking

We used to meet at the local Diner to do that stuff. And, some of still do. Well, the Diner has become a Starbucks. :)

GrendelKhan TSU

 10:24 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't get why people don't get this?

* I'll repeat the point said: Stop thinking like a SEOer. Take that OUT of the equation completely.

* Blogger perspective: People on different blog networks are... different. So, more is better. one login full distribution of your words to all these differnt blog worlds. Yay!


But for the sake of discussion, how about this angle?
Nowadays many "netizens" maintain THE same identity on multiple networks. Yes, people also use multiple identities on the same network. Or a combination of both.

This services aims at the first group.

Why would someone have signed up for multiple services in the first place? Its kinda a moot point, but for the geezers' sake (yes, I'm with ya) .... well, do you have a hotmail email? do have an yahoo and gmail one as well? Skype AND msn? (and sometimes find an email from that guy that never got your "new" primary email address?). Watch Veoh AND youtube? Search on Google AND gasp...yahoo as well? Do you have more than one website? Do you use the same ID/pw to login at the different sites? Use the same ID on various forums (ahem. WebmasterWorld AND searchengineworld)?


Reasons really are not all that different.

Now, would it be easier to post the same content at both places if you could (not have to login to two different sites)? (again, "would it be EASIER?" is the question. not "what would the effect of duplicate content be?")

Different networks, different people...so same content, different audience and different REPLIES.

In the end, doesn't REALLY matter why people use same id/pw at multiple sites (insert your own reasons here: convenience, consistency, self-brand identity, etc)... The fact is, they do. I'd say MOST do in fact (have multiple ids or same id on multiple services). Blogs and websites and.. THE INTERNET is still about exposure (same with SEO no?). as such... again, more is better. And casting a wide net is still often the best (only?) way to get it. Social networking in particular is (as of yet) very much more about horizontals, not verticals, so this is great for them.

Simple, value proposition:
A single "one-stop" platform for multiple site distribution of your blog (or whatever) is just making that persons life easier and gets the word out more.

Don't know ppl are analyzing or naysaying about here... really not much more to need to think about than that.

And honestly, if we were to go back to SEO for a second: Blogspot and facebook and wordpress blogger et al... I assume are largely a different set of people, no? So, given different people REPLY to blogs with various assumably varied but related content, and different people will link TO your blogs from assumably varied but related blogs/sites ...

would the effect of duplicate content for that one (first) entry really have an significant effect that you should be worried about if everyone seeing, replying and linking to it are different?

Risk of penalty from duplication content < increased exposure of otherwise unpublished words across multiple blog networks (which in turn will generate more new content).

Certainly is true in Korea, where Social Networking / WEb 2.0 was born and DOMINATES far more than web search... and where webmasters/netizens don't know even know what "SEO" is (esp. yes, even compared to elsewhere else).

food for thought.

-- so sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}

[edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 10:36 am (utc) on April 17, 2008]


 10:49 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

TSU, I was not convinced by your arguments as much as I wanted to.

Duplicate content Vs Reaching people (with the same content along different networks)

Are you saying being a blogger at blogspot will give me a significant more access to new visitors at blogspot than another blogger in a different blog network?


 3:02 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Social networking is all about connecting to people who have some sort of common interest or commonality.
Blogging is about putting your ideas and experiences out there for the world to see.
Connecting the two makes some sense. Assume your blogged ideas/experiences are related to the common interest of your social network then you have a ready audience to tap into that you may not have had previously. One blog update - many networks - more pairs of eyes - more discussion - more syndication - more more more. Search engine traffic? - who cares? :)

I can only manage one blog but i am constantly amazed at how my posts get regurgitated often verbatim across different blogging platforms and websites and occassionally social networking sites. If I can take control and blast my posts across multiple networks myself and tap into social networks then even better.

For my blog i gave up worrying about duplicate content a long time ago and it hasnt hurt a bit. My websites are another story.


 3:14 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't use blogs, but I see one potential benefit of it.

By posting it to lots of blog networks (or whatever they are called) you're increasing the chance of your blog getting indexed first, as opposssed to a spammer/scraper stealing the content and getting it spidered first.

You become your own scrapper!


 4:44 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>I don't get why people don't get this?

ReceptionalAndy covered this matter fully ;-)

>>we're just grumpy old so-and-sos


>>signed up for multiple services

That part I get. My question was more specific and most people keep answering the question I didn't ask. So, yes, I see the value and I fully understand why you would want to broadcast to multiple services, even when they overlap, like Facebook/MySpace or Flickr/Smugmug/YouTube/. That makes sense. Not everyone in my Facebook network will have a MySpace account and vice-versa.

The part I didn't get, and for the most part still don't, is sending the same content to multiple blogs simultaneously. Blogs are different, you don't have to be a member of any network at all to read the dailykos.com or perezhilton.com or mattcutts.com (none of which I read, as it turns out, which speaks to their popularity).

As I say, I suspect that capability exists just because it makes for a simpler interface, but I could be wrong. Certainly nothing anyone has said makes me see the value of sending the same article to multiple blogs (not Twitter, FB, MS, Flickr, or what have you, but multiple blogs).

>>Stop thinking like a SEOer

Forget Google. The truth is, that for my blogs, I don't give one wit about Google, but I do care about duplicate content, content that can be found in multiple places. To some degree, my blogs are for networking and I've actually made some pretty good friends from people who've written in (I mean people who have come and stayed at my house and such).

Why do I think posting the same content to multiple blogs is bad for social networking? It fractions your community and makes it harder, not easier to connect. Think about comments for a moment. If I post the same content to ergophobeBlog.com, ergophobe.blogspot.com, ergophobe.typepad.com and ergophobe.blogger.com, I have now split my commenting community in four. Makes no sense.

Then there's focus. Even if I personally ran dailykos.com, perezhilton.com *and* mattcutts.com by myself, how many mattcutts.com readers would want to junk up their RSS readers with my PerezHiltion stuff? Personally, when I follow blogs, beyond a certain point, the more someone posts, the more likely I am to unsubscribe.

On the other hand, having the Six Apart app be able to send to several blogs does make sense because one day I may post something on Flickr that I want to flag on my personal blog, and the next day I put something on Flickr that might interest people who subscribe to my Three-Legged Dachsund blog. The ability to post to both simultaneously is just a side-effect, I suspect.

Of course, what I would really like to see is the opposite - a "pull" technology that would allow *me* to *subscribe* to a *person*. Whether she adds content to her professional blog, her personal blog, her Facebook page or her Flickr stream, it shows up in my Mahalia Jackson feed (okay, she's been dead for 36 years, but you get the idea).

Essentially, this is email, and what I would like to see is RSS. This is a shotgun, and I'm waiting for a telescope.


 5:55 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ok, ergophobe, following you now i think

"If I post the same content to ergophobeBlog.com, ergophobe.blogspot.com, ergophobe.typepad.com and ergophobe.blogger.com, I have now split my commenting community in four. "

In this case, yes you are splitting your community.
I think the more appropriate case for posting to multiple blogs is where there is overlap.
For example if you have a blog for family, blog for friends, blog for work.
You have a baby, you may want to post the same announcement to all three blogs.
Your aunt gets married, you might want to post to the family blog and friends blog but not the work blog.
I agree that i do not see the point in having 4 completely identical blogs unless people are browsing blogs across a platform and discovering blogs that way rather than following links from blog to blog or using a search engine.


 7:08 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I can see a few such cases. My wife and I have a personal blog (lots of cobwebs) and family and friends can check in there - saves spamming everyone with email. What goes there, we typically don't put anywhere else, but some announcements are important enough that it might go everywhere (i.e. "Don't expect many new Three-Legged Dachsund posts in the next few weeks - we just had a baby").

BTW, I'm not trying to be purposefully stupid or difficult! I've just been trying to get the "why" of the multiple simultaneous blog posts.


 8:39 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can see the reason most of US don't get this. Plain and simple, we just don't have the time to keep up with multiple blogs. I actually have so little time that this forum is the only place I post anything!

But kids and (dare I say) housewives often have enough free time to spare that they can keep up with it. They simply want to have more places for their writing to go. It's like publishing your own newspaper, except that instead of being syndicated in several towns you are on several websites. For the avid, attention starved blogger, this is just the ticket.

GrendelKhan TSU

 12:34 am on Apr 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

youre you saying being a blogger at blogspot will give me a significant more access to new visitors at blogspot than another blogger in a different blog network?

** X vs Y **
er... not sure if I understand your question correctly). but.. I did not say anything as to which network will give someone "significant more access to new visitors". THAT totally depends. One mans blog gold mine is another mans desert. That's why one casts a wide net.

Here is the simple end of the mindset (and reality):
< insert blog platform X > audience IS different than the < insert blog platform Y >.

And cross-over is neglible or simple irrelevant to the point goal.Once you get that concept ingrained the rest falls into place.

As to which of those audiences picks up on your blog more is kinda a moot point. What I am saying is you WILL get a new audience with every new blog service/platform you post at (that you wouldn't otherwise have reached).

** SEARCH vs SNS (social network service) **
Maybe people don't get that Social Network people do NOT use search as primary tools to find new information and friends. They use the tools WITHIN that network. Who searches google to find if a friend is on facebook? +_+

Same is true for a significant amount of people who blog. they don't search for information and go to whatever blog. they just browse through to other blogs within that network on-the-fly.

Of course connecting the two is, thus, better.

This is also why SNS itself is a separate category than search.

It fractions your community and makes it harder, not easier to connect.

Again, that is the heart of the problem.
This thinking is just incorrect.

To expand on what reprint said, that is based a VERY BIG assumption: that ergophobeBlog.com, ergophobe.blogspot.com, ergophobe.typepad.com and ergophobe.blogger.com are reaching the same people. [u]But they are not.[/u] And its only "harder to connect" you assume that it IS the SAME people (again, ITS NOT!).

In order to "Fractions your community", you saying:
-- A) you've reached your entire possible community already
-- B) convinced them all to go to read from one blog one location (or use RSS to read it if they dont' physically go there).
-- C) and such, if you publish across multiple platforms, you're telling your captive audience to read repetitive content in several places. (or ignore it and waste your time).

THAT makes no sense to me. Even google wishes it could say that.

If one did analytics for your muliple blogs (with repeat content)... I bet one would find less than 5% overlap (that's a guess..but whatever, it would be less than significant.)

Actually, best illustrative example is video streaming sites. Believe it or not...not everyone uses youtube for their video streaming needs. (say it ain't so!) Video producers also tend to publish across multiple networks. Yes, one might get more hits at youtube (MIGHT), but you definitely will reach more (different) people at different video stream sites. There are like 100+ video streaming sites last I looked--top 10 of which all have millions of views a day. Each has a different personality it and yes, lots of repeat content.

Sure, WE tend to want to want to believe such consolidatation happens... that we can push all of our audience to come read our blogs at one spot or location--because that'd be easier for us and well... great. But its just wishful thinking.

Take your example:
Mattcuts may be a famous blog around here... but simple truth is: If he published his blog on multiple platforms, he would have more, different viewers. Absolutely.

Heck, Newspapers wouldn't even ALLOW for RSS if that wasn't the case as well (and btw, keep in mind, RSS is a geek tool. Yes, probably like 99% usage around HERE, but... "out there"? say "RSS" to your average netizen and you will get blank stares.)

** TIME ***
Murdoch really summed the argument for your second point as well:

we just don't have the time to keep up with multiple blogs.


By publishing duplicate content across multiple platforms:

We would not fracture our audience, we would fracture our time to maintain each audience with 100% attention.

But as he said, that is not necessarily true for other demographics (namely, those with lots more time to do so). I can imagine just not having to login multiple times for their multiple blogs would be worth it for them.

Did that answer the question?

[edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 12:45 am (utc) on April 18, 2008]


 4:12 pm on Apr 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Very interesting. It really takes some effort (on your part in particular!) for me to get this. I really appreciate all the time that went into those two mammoth posts.

I've honestly never thought of blog platforms as having defined audiences. I always think of blogs as being a standalone thing (some on their own domain and some hosted on a service, but the services are not even brands to me, let alone tribes) and I pay no attention to what platform their on typically.

It's so foreign to the way I use the web. Probably 80% (?) of my blog reading is via RSS so after the initial contact where I decide "This is someone I want to follow", I never really see the platform. Most of my general web usage is some sort of data mining (prospecting for answers to well-defined questions).

There it is - as i said in my first post, I absolutely don't get the whole social networking thing. I have enough trouble finding time to keep up with my friends who are physically present, which just goes right to Murdoch's point.

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