As the social networking scene becomes more crowded, busy, and chaotic, more people are experimenting with automating or outsourcing social media tasks. But does this violate the spirit of authenticity which is so highly valued within social media?
Another way some people are automating social media tasks is by having their status updates automatically distributed to multiple social networks. Tools like TweetDeck make it possible to post an update to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, and Google Buzz with the click of a single button.
Does this violate the spirit of authenticity?
Some people criticize syndicating updates because usually it means the person is just broadcasting to those networks and not listening or engaging with anyone there. Critics also poo-poo syndicating because the audience and purpose of each social network is unique, so updates ought to be customized for each.
Proponents, though, say syndicating is a helpful time-saver for people who have a presence on many social networks. Some syndicate their updates and also go to those networks to listen and engage. Others syndicate to networks where they never listen or engage with others, and their argument is, “Might as well have a syndicated presence for those who want to follow there, rather than no presence as well.”
Complicating the issue is the fact that some social networks like FriendFeed and Google Buzz consist almost entirely of syndicated updates and contain almost no original content.
My take… I don’t think anyone has a problem with syndicating updates if you also read and engage with people on those networks. But it’s pretty lame to syndicate updates to a network and never listen and engage. That said, I syndicate my Twitter updates to FriendFeed, Google Buzz, and LinkedIn. Why? Because people continue to follow me on those networks. If they find my updates useful, then why not continue to provide them there?
What’s your take on syndicating updates? Authentic or not?