The Eclectic

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A mature expression of freedom follows the discernment between desire and need. It follows then that liberty must follow education, not the other way around.

Unifying Web 2.0 Applications & Feeds: One App to Sync Them All

For the past several days I have been wrestling with various useful Web 2.0 applications in an attempt to get them to talk to each other suitably.

What I’ve found is that Google Reader and similar services will put all kinds of feeds together so that I could make one link that contains everything: my blog, my tumblog, my twitter, my facebook, etc, etc.

However, what I would like to do is–rather than trying to convince everyone in my life to use a Google Reader link when they are more comfortable with a particular application (usually Facebook or Twitter)–what I’d like to do is post information to anywhere, and it will automatically be made available everywhere. Here are some highlights of my attempts and frustrations:

  1. Tumblr will sync with Twitter (post my tweets, and tweet my tumblr posts), as well as repost my blog and my Facebook feed.
  2. The Twitter application in Facebook will post my tweets as Facebook status updates.
  3. Combining 1 and 2, I posted everything except my Facebook status to tumblr, and allowed [anything but Facebook] -> Tumblr -> Twitter -> Facebook to do the work. This still has problems though. First, Twitter turns media rich posts on Tumblr in to mini URLs, so an image or video posted to [anything but Facebook] gets to Facebook as a mini URL, while Facebook supports media-rich posts. Furthermore, posting to Facebook is still a dead end, the solution to which would be posting my Facebook updates to Tumblr, creating an endless feedback loop: Facebook -> Tumblr -> Twitter -> Facebook -> …

One solution would be a smart synchronizer that uses the API from every service that interests you to check whether a post exists at location X, and if it doesn’t, forward it there in the correct format. Provided that ONLY that synchronizer is used (so that it can keep track of post’s origins without error) that would work.

Another solution would be to have one application where all posting is done, whether it’s a quip, status update, image, video, whatever. Then this “super application” sends out the information in the correct format to everything. The problem with this solution is that the super applicaiton needs to be available for every platform that I use to post content (my phone, my laptop, my PC, a Mac, etc, etc). This solution also doesn’t really solve the problem because I can’t simply post using any interface I want, and expect everything to get updated–I have to use the super application all the time.

Is there anyone out there that has found a good solution to this problem? I’ve seen seesmic for Facebook and Twitter, but it doesn’t cover other applications. I’ve also tried flock, but for some reason it won’t play nice with my self-hosted WordPress blog.

Any help on this would be appreciated. I would hate to have to learn 1/2-dozen APIs and write my own application to do this properly.

//Mark

Category: Tech

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