I’m having a hard time deciding whom to follow on which network with duplicate shares everywhere. The problem is compounded further by folks who auto-share from one network to another. There is no value in following people who share the same thing on Reader, Buzz, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. Duplication simply amplifies noise and reduces signal.
This is a real problem with social media today. Everyone wants maximum likes, shares, retweets on each and every thing they share. Their hope, understandably, is that each morsel they throw into social media becomes a feast on which everyone will drool.
Well, count me out. If someone is auto-feeding the same thing on all networks, it doesn’t add any value to me to follow them on all networks. Especially if they are not engaging in conversation where their content is landing.
I have written before about why I do not use auto-tweeting tools like Reader2Twitter, because I take as much effort as possible to attribute my sources. If you are using such tools, it makes sense to auto-tweet to a different Twitter account, like some folks do. This gives your followers the choice whether to follow you on Reader or Twitter.
Enter Buzz and FriendFeed and Facebook. Each of these is capable of pulling items from multiple sources for each person. FriendFeed can further be imported into Facebook and Buzz. This is not just aggregation, it is super-aggregation or aggregation-squared. This amplifies signals to such enormous proportions that all this noise is deafening.
Each of my shares on Twitter, Reader, and Facebook are hand-picked and manual. It takes extra effort but I believe it adds value to those who follow me. I am happy not being a social media superstar with thousands of followers if even a single person likes a single share of mine in a day. My value is not in the number of retweets, number of likes, etc., but in the feedback I get from even a single @reply or comment.
Neither of the companies behind each of these social networks are working with each other to design better filters for all of us. Each simply wants us to use them exclusively. There lies the problem. We hop on to each new social network bandwagon, immediately discover tools that allow us to auto-share and auto-propagate our shared content down stream, up stream, cross stream, life stream, etc., ultimately drowning our followers in the flood.
I am skeptic this problem will go away soon. As a curator, this is a challenge. The only way I see to successfully filter the signal out of this noise is to be brutal in curating sources. Auto-sharers, auto-tweeters, auto-feeders, or whatever these tools are called, will be the first on my radar as likely candidates to be unfollowed.
As a follower, I am a human. When you auto-share, you’re not a human on that network, you turn into a bot. Bots are what we call spam.