blog
03/26/2008
personal aggregators vs. blasters
Posted by Rick Rey
hellotxt
hellotxt is an example of a "blaster"

This week Zadi talked about a few of the personal aggregators out there that let you pull your feeds from services like Twitter and Pownce so all your updates show up in one centralized location. If you use an aggregator like FriendFeed, Socialthing, or iminta it doesn't matter which networks you use and which ones I use -- we can keep up with each other on the same website.

An alternative approach sort of accomplishes the same thing by doing the exact opposite -- instead of pulling from multiple places, it lets you send to multiple places, and it's causing a bit of controversy in the social space. I'm talking about "status blasting" services like HelloTxt, which let you to ping multiple services with the same message simultaneously.

The idea behind "blasters" is that your friends will see your updates on whichever network they check most regularly. No need to introduce a new service in the already crowded space. Makes sense, right? Here's the problem. What if you check multiple networks regularly? And let's be honest, most of us do already. You're going to see the same person's updates over and over again.

So in the end you might have to choose one method over the other. They are fundamentally different approaches to the same problem. Is it spamming when you blast several networks at once, or is it acceptable because your friends have chosen to follow your updates (and can just as easily unfollow you)?

And by choosing blasters are we essentially pigeonholing ourselves to 1 or 2 networks save from being inundated with copies of the same message across the social web?

Should the community make a collective decision about which platform to support? I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this one.