Aggregators as Scatterers and Why It Matters

Services like Friendfeed are commonly referred to as Aggregators. This is because they allow you to pull in your blog posts, pictures, videos, etc. from various sites into your stream on that service. But from another perspective, that I think should also be noted, aggregators enable fragmentation of the discussion surrounding a topic. This is what I've actually seen happening:

  1. The original blog post leads to comments and interaction on the blog itself.
  2. RSS subscribers use feed readers like Google Reader. They share the article if they like it. Some add their notes as well.
  3. Subscribers 'aggregate' their shared feed items on Friendfeed. These appear as multiple posts on Friendfeed, each leading to individual, separate likes and discussions.
  4. Friendfeed users in turn set their posts to be automatically posted to Facebook, where Facebook users like and comment on the Facebook post.
  5. Friendfeed users also auto-tweet their posts. Their followers on Twitter re-tweet, adding their own individual micro-comments.

In the earlier days, a blogger used to get all feedback on his post, right on his blog. Now, the poor chap doesn't know who is liking, sharing, commenting, and talking about his post. Unless he is a super-savvy social tech geek.

You can integrate Friendfeed comments with your blog, but no such luck for the millions who use Blogger and WordPress.com. On the one hand, services like Friendfeed are making the blogger's post reach a much wider audience than he could have imagined. Unfortunately, he may not know it at all.

Is this aggregation? It may be from the Friendfeed user's perspective. But from the perspective of the original author, this is scattering of feedback.

To be fair, Friendfeed allows you to link to the original author's blog post (if you've set it in Options). But when tech heavyweights share original authors' ideas via Friendfeed, the community often wants to payback their 2 cents on the topic to the heavyweights – not the original author.

When you are proposing an idea, or an opinion, or a strategy, or a technique, scattered feedback is a big deal. An author likes to get ALL feedback – easily. Today, this is getting more and more difficult.

Posted via from SkepticGeek’s Posterous

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