Internet Content Plumbing Simplification

Inspired by Rafe Needleman’s content overload, I graphed my current Internet content plumbing with an eye to simplifying and improving it.1

I have two blogs: and Exerslog; their content goes to FriendFeed, as do the comments I write on blogan (they are filtered from the entire comments feed by a Yahoo pipe). I don’t regularly update Exerslog and it no longer inspires me to exercise. Instead, it adds unnecessary overhead to activity I’d rather encourage and makes me feel guilty when I don’t update even though I have exercised. Time to shut it down, at least for now.

I used to write about others’ posts I read that I liked. Then I discovered Google Reader’s ability to share posts. I find Reader’s sharing easier than writing a blog post. The titles of the posts I share show up on the sidebar of blogan’s main page. I also pipe the shared posts to a Tumblr “tumblog.” I don’t like Tumblr because it makes the shared posts look like I wrote them. Google Reader provides a shared items page, so I didn’t need Tumblr for what I was doing. Good bye, Tumblr!

Unlike Rafe, I don’t use to stuff status to various microblogging sites (Twitter,, Pownce, and Yammer) because I’d rather not start a conversation somewhere I won’t be watching. Instead, all my microblogging accounts pipe to FriendFeed, where I’d like the conversation to take place. Does this work? No. Time to get rid of the extra microblogging sites I don’t use.

I’ll keep Twitter because it’s where my social graph is. It works will with Alex King’s latest beta of Twitter Tools, which filters out @replies before displaying my tweets on blogan’s sidebar.

I have some miscellaneous sites: wishlist, BrightKite, and YouTube) that go to FriendFeed. I have virtually no activity on them, they self maintain, and it’s not worth documenting them, and not worth the effort of deleting their feeds from FriendFeed. Ignoring them is bliss!

I have a Pownce site that aggregates my blogan and Twitter streams. Pownce is another site I ignore and it can be removed.

Finally, LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace are special cases. I don’t particularly like them, but I have a lot of friends on them so I don’t want to ignore them. They don’t play well with the rest of the Internet, though; getting feeds in and out of them can be difficult. Even in the case where it’s possible, it’s not necessarily advised. For example, I have Twitter update my status on Facebook. The cultures on Twitter and Facebook are different; noisy chatter that’s acceptable on Twitter might be considered obnoxious on Facebook. I think I’ll remove the linking. Likewise, I can’t think of a reason to pipe my LinkedIn activity to FriendFeed. These three sites go back to being the islands I hate.

This is what my Internet content plumbing looks like now. This captures at least 95% of my online content reading, creating, sharing, and other social networking activity.

  1. Hat tip: Steve Rubel for tweeting Rafe’s article. 

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