Are we conversing now?

Jeremy Epstein Business

The purpose of a status update, and arguably, social media is to begin a conversation.

Realizing that your friends, associates, and network are distributed in multiple areas (and have varied interests), it is critical to participate in the conversation where they are, not where you want them to be.

Yesterday, I read Dave Slusher’s post on abandoning Twitter in favor of FriendFeed.

It made sense to me, so I quickly rearranged my syndication strategy to make FriendFeed the aggregator of all of my “social services” (blog,, Netflix, Amazon wishlist, Disqus comments) and then “feed” that into Twitter as a distribution strategy.

Today, read Fred Wilson’s post on Why Widgets is Wrong for What We Are Doing and he motivated me to give Tumblr another try, which I have now done, but  I applied Dave’s approach and made FriendFeed the sole feed into Tumblr.

Now, my aggregation and syndication strategy looks much, much simpler and cleaner.

And here are all of the services that get integrated into FriendFeed (the ones I use are on the right). Whoa!

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Yes, there are a few things missing (like twitter @replies and shared Facebook items), but I think it’s a trade-off I’m willing to make.

I’m sure there are some downsides and one of them is that I can’t, as easily, segment the data for different audiences.

So, while you may be a business associate on Plaxo, you will see some of my personal posts. Or, if you are a friend and don’t care about marketing, you’ll see some of those.

However, if the person is really the channel now, then its akin to saying, “I really like watching  Discovery channel programming,” but I don’t watch all of their shows all the time. As long as people can easily find the stuff they want and consume it when/where and the signal/noise ratio is high, I think (for now, at least), I’m good.

Plus, there’s the possibility that we will find new ways to connect if you are a business associate who sees the music I am listening on Pandora or the movie I just added to my Netflix queue.

Or, a friend might see a comment via Disqus (working on integrating to this blog, but having a bit of a challenge) that I made on another blog and you’ll get introduced to a whole new world (Aladdin music!)

Again, the lesson with technology is: it’s going to change. Don’t get wedded to an idea and be prepared to shift if you think it makes sense.

The good news w/all of this “web 2.0” stuff….it took me about 5 minutes to do it.