Weirdness with Delicious daily blog post: Other options?

For a long time, I’ve been using the Delicious daily blog post feature to syndicate to this site the  interesting stuff I’m saving and sharing via the popular social bookmarking service Delicious.

Since the recent Delicious upgrade, that service has had some issues.

First, that daily blog post stopped working for me entirely until I looked through the Delicious documentation and learned I now had to run the Postalicious plugin to continue making that feature work with WordPress. No biggie, I installed it.

Postalicious gave me a lot of new options for configuring that daily blog post.  I experimented with them. One option I liked was the ability to change the default title supplied to that post. Also, I temporarily changed my posting interval to hourly (so I’d show more posts with fewer links each), but decided I didn’t like that so today I switched it back to daily.

But today, I’m wondering whether Delicious has stopped working with Postalicious. Today’s links post is back to running the standard head Delicious supplied before: “Links for [DATE] (delicious.com)” I’m not happy with that heading, but right now I don’t seem to have the ability to change it.

I checked the Delicious support forum, where users are discussing the changes to this service. I noticed this interesting post from Britta of Delicious, regarding their future strategy for this service…

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Delicious: Now a SERIOUS microblogging tool!

I just noticed that sometime over the last few days Delicious.com quietly upgraded its bookmarklet to support a notes field of up to 1000 characters, the new maximum length of a post to Delicious. (It used to be just 255 characters, which was a too-tight constraint for bloggers.)

This is a great thing for people like me who use Delicious as a way to supply content to blogs (rather than just to remember or share interesting sites).

delicious support forum thread

Also with the recent Delicious.com major facelift, they’ve overhauled the “blog posting” service (available under “settings” for your account) that allows you to connect your Delicious account to your blog, and make regular posts to your blog of whatever you’re bookmarking in Delicious. In short, you can now exercise much greater control over how and when Delicious posts items to your blog. I’ll be experimenting with that in Contentious, to see how I can improve your experience of that content here.

Way to go, Delicious! At least Yahoo is doing something right these days!

Multiple account support?

My only remaining criticism of the Delicious Firefox add on is that it does not yet support multiple accounts. I maintain separate Delicious accounts to feed different blogs and other projects. Formerly I used the Delicious Complete Firefox add-on to post to Delicious because it does support multiple accounts. But unfortunately that add-on is not compatible with Firefox 3, and I don’t know if it ever will be. Sad. (Murklins hacked together an independent update attempt — I haven’t tried it yet, but I probably will.)

Fellow Delicious user Britta also would like the official Delicious bookmarklet to support multiple accounts. Follow and speak up in this support forum thread if you’d also like this feature.

Britta also suggested that Mac users who want to post to multiple Delicious accounts try the third-party tool Pukka. I just installed it, and it seems functional but very basic. Also, so far it only supports posts up to 255 characters, so I won’t be using it.

But again, the real news here is that Delicious now supports posts of up to 1000 words, and the tools that make it easy to post to Delicious without having to visit the Delicious site also are now supporting that higher text limit. Microbloggers, have a blast!

My Tumblr experiment: Exploring options for fast, easy posts

People contribute more when contributing is easy. That’s true for posting to sites or forums as well as donating money.

That said, many sites make it surprisingly hard to post. Not excruciatingly difficult — but just laborious enough to be a barrier to some would-be contributors.

This week I’m experimenting with using different tools to post to Contentious.com. Here’s the first one:

My Tumblr Experiment

I’m doing this because some of my clients use fairly complex content management systems, where each post requires a surprising number of steps.

Most commonly, here’s what site contributors must do…

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Growing a Quality Twitter Posse: My Do’s & Don’ts

My Twitter posse is always there for me. Today they offered fast, good ideas for E-Media Tidbits.

Like a lot of people, I’m an avid user of Twitter. But I don’t do so aimlessly. Twitter is worth my time because every day it offers me clear rewards:

  • Posse power. The 700+ Twitter followers I’ve accumulated have proved to be a collectively generous helpful group that offers, by-and-large, on-target and useful information whenever I ask for help, feedback, or insight.
  • Radar & serendipity. The 150+ people I currently follow on Twitter generally provide, at any time of day or night, a steady stream of interesing, useful, timely, or entertaining content.
  • Relationship-building. This may sound strange for a text-only, short-post medium, but I’ve found Twitter to be a more natural, human tool for keeping up with friends and colleagues on a daily basis. It also relieves the sense of isolation from working at home alone every day.
  • Convenience and lack of pressure. I leave Twitter on when I have time or can offer divided attention, and turn it off when I need to focus. I feel no need to “catch up” on posts that happen when I’m not online. (Replies or direct messages to me do get saved so I can see them later, however.)

Of all those rewards, “posse power” is by far the most important and valuable. I’ve come to the conclusion that Twitter has become so very useful to me because I’ve actively cultivated a high-quality posse.

Here’s how I did it…
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I’m trying out Seesmic: Twitter meets YouTube

I’m trying out the new video-based social media service Seesmic, based on recommendations by Paul Bradshaw and other colleagues. It seems kind of rough so far, but I’m used to rough.

Here’s what I like and don’t like about it so far…

(UPDATE: Heh… OK, another thing I don’t like.. Apparently embedding a Seesmic video in a WordPress blog like this one isn’t as easy as it should be. Obviously, it’s not playing. Bummer. For now, here’s a link to my video post.)

Also, I haven’t yet investigated how mobile-friendly Seesmic is. Would be nice if you could combine some of the live/mobile functionality of Qik here.

Follow me on Seesmic: I’m agahran there. Send me a video! Tell me what you think of Seesmic so far. I’ve also enabled the Seesmic widget for this blog ,so you can see my latest video posts in the sidebar. I’ve also activated video comments for this blog.

Twitter Up, Blogging Down

Yes, I’m Twittering more than I’m blogging here lately. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Just a few minutes ago, Jeremiah Owyang posted to Twitter:

“Is your blogging reducing due to Twitter usage? It has for Adam Stewart.”

…So I hopped over to see what Adam Stewart had to say. This part of his post rang true for me:

“Generally, one line of thought often turns into a blog post. With Twitter, that one line of thought becomes a small post that speaks for itself, and it feels like old content once I release it into the Twittersphere.”

So I commented:

“Yeah, I’ve definitely noticed this effect re: my personal blog Contentious.com. Hasn’t hurt the blogs I run for clients, but the cobbler’s children has no shoes. Honestly, I generally find Twitter more personally useful and satisfying than blogging. Can’t sum that one up in 140 characters, so I guess I’ll have to blog it. But at least now, while I’m wrangling with a heavy workload, Twitter gives me a way to vent some of my compulsion to converse and share with the people who seem to be the core audience of my blog anyway.”

…As I imbibe more green tea and think this through further, I remember that blogs have always been an awkward tool to satisfy my deepest desires for conversational media. Yeah, I love to write — but I tend to find quality conversation far morerewarding and satisfying than merely writing. Despite all Twitter’s limitations and weaknesses (which are many) I find it to be a superior conversational media tool. In many ways.

Of course, I’m sure that whatever conversational media tools crop up in the next few years will be even more versatile, robust, and usable. I’m looking forward to being part of that evolution. What about you?

Finding local Tweetups: A humble proposal

Tweetscan
The search tool Tweetscan may be one way to find spontaneous gatherings of local Twitter users.

A few days ago, it occurred to me that it might be nice if there was an online tool or service that would facilitate local “tweetups” (informal, spontaneous gatherings of local Twitter users). Right now, tweetups start when one person in a town or city proposes one — like: “How about a Tweetup at The Cup in downtown Boulder this afternoon, 2pm?”

…But this approach mostly works to assemble Twitter users who already know or follow each other. What about if you want to get together with local Twitter users you don’t already know, or who don’t follow you? Since I’m a big believer in serendipity, I’d love a tool like that. Knowing that there’s no such thing as a truly original idea, I checked on the logical domain for such a tool, Tweetup.com.

There’s nothing there yet, just a placeholder page. I e-mailed the domain owner to ask of their plans for this domain, and here’s the response I received this morning…

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Will someone please think of the grad students?

wilde-oscar.jpgI’m in the midst of an intriguing IM chat with Lisa Williams (of Placeblogger and H2otown). I shared a stray thought with her:

Me: Do you think someday someone will post “the collected IM chat transcripts of so-and-so” like they publish the letters of Oscar Wilde?

Lisa: I’m sure of it! Won’t someone please think of the graduate students ;->

Which got me thinking: If Oscar Wilde was alive today, he’d definitely be blogging — and probably Twittering up a storm. And he’d be damn eloquent, witty, and brilliant about it, too.

Social Media Tradeoffs

Travelator, via Flickr (CC license)
Though it’s often trivialized and denigrated, instant gratification is a very powerful thing.

As I’ve gotten more comfortable and involved with using the microblogging tool Twitter, I’ve realized that I’ve been using the social bookmarking tool del.icio.us less and less. I’m not the only one.

When I posted about this on Twitter, my friend Beth Kanter tweeted in response:

“I’ve had the same experience — less social bookmarking, more Twitter. But Twitter not great for retrieval.”

“Twitter offers immediate gratification and connection with people, not just resources. But retrieval is hard.”

This got me wondering about why I really use each of these social media tools in the first place. But Beth has a point: I’d be lying if I downplayed the appeal of instant gratification.

The question then becomes: What precisely am I finding so gratifying with Twitter?…

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Bhutto Assassination News via Blogs, Twitter

The Teeth announcement on Twitter of Bhutto’s assassination, viewed via Snitter.

This morning as I was making tea, I learned via NPR that Pakistani opposition leader and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Google News already offers a slew of mainstream news coverage of the assassination — based almost entirely on reporting done outside Pakistan, since tight restrictions on journalists remain in force in Pakistan even though President Pervez Musharraf lifted lifted six weeks of emergency rule on Dec. 15. (More on that country’s press restrictions from the International Federation of Journalists and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.)

Given the current dearth of available professional journalism from within Pakistan, the country’s lively blogosphere — much of it in English — has become a key source of original and diverse news, analysis, commentary, and context from around that troubled nation. Today especially would be a good time to start paying close attention to Pakistani blogs.

One of the easiest places to get started is a blog aggregator with the unlikely name of Teeth Maestro

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