Twitter as RSS

I’ve been following more people on Twitter, namely webcomic artists and bloggers, and have begun to notice that several of them update their Twitter every time they write a blog post. I’m a little conflicted about the practice, though I suppose it makes sense; redundantly putting information out in multiple places helps ensure it’ll get read by the most people. Since I subscribe to their RSS feeds, though, it first came across as somewhat over-the-top and obnoxious. Then it supplanted my usual RSS feed.

As much as I love RSS, and even Google Reader (my RSS reader of choice), I found that it’s really nice to read people’s words on their own site. People who blog or create web comics usually have decent websites, and as it turns out, the conventional wisdom is correct: a good frame accents the art and emphasizes its beauty.

Beyond that, as I began writing this, it occurred to me that Twitter is like RSS for life. Of course, you don’t have to update regularly, but it’s easy to see where it can be used as a mini-blog for more practical purposes. I say “practical” because it’s hard to justify writing an entire blog post and giving it the front page of my site for a day about how I pulled some muscles and my shoulders hurt, but I can certainly post about it on Twitter, which shows up in my sidebar. 140 characters is about all such information deserves.

It doesn’t necessarily demand that you open your life up to every passer-by. You put as much info in as you like, and if you like, you could only use it as a marketing tool and to spread word about your other work. Whether you use it as RSS for your life or just your site, though, I think it presents a prettier picture than an XML sheet fed through a reader, black text on a white page.

That being said, I certainly don’t recommend shutting down your RSS feed(s)! This level of redundancy allows people to use whatever subscription means they like, but the key is consistency. If you start using Twitter as subscription means, you have to update it forever or accept the consequences: if you stop updating at some point in the future, you’re likely to lose at least some of those subscribers. You can post that you’re moving to a different subscription model/location, of course, but the people who use only one method and refuse all others are unlikely to change.

I currently have my blog and Twitter both posting to Friendfeed, but I can certainly see the value of Twitting about my blog. Nevertheless, I think I’ll hold off for now. My Twitter is all personal updates now, RSS for my life, and I think I’d like to keep it that way for now.

Ending Crossposting

For the last couple of years, entries to this blog have crossposted to a few different places. They automatically appear on Xanga and Livejournal, and I also have a blurb go up at MySpace when I publish something. Facebook picks up my posts through an RSS feed, but that’s not really crossposting and so isn’t addressed here.

I’ve decided to stop crossposting entries to Xanga, Livejournal, and MySpace. There are a few different reasons for this, but what it really boils down to is that

  1. It’s buggy and slows my site down, sometimes breaking things entirely, and
  2. I don’t think many people subscribe or read my blog through those sites.

If you do and would like to continue reading, there are a few options. I recommend foremost that you subscribe to the RSS feed. You can do this through any RSS reader, though I particularly recommend Google Reader myself. Some people use Netvibes, and that’s cool too I guess. There are a few others out there, so whatever floats your boat, just subscribe.

You can also visit the site directly. I usually update daily, Monday through Friday, though the time isn’t set.

If you can give me a compelling reason to keep crossposting, I’ll do it, but I don’t think there is one. Therefore, this will be the last post that shows up on Xanga, MySpace, or Livejournal.

Livejournal, and then Xanga, were my first blogging sites, but I can’t say that I’m sad to leave them behind forever. Adieu, adieu, adieu.

MySpace Crossposting

After our last visit to Wichita, I friended my niece, Alizabeth, on a couple of social networking sites. My blog entries already crosspost to Xanga, LiveJournal, and Facebook, but I’ve ignored MySpace since I first got an account a couple of years ago. I never really wanted a MySpace, didn’t like the site or its format, and I found it to be clunky and unwieldy. To this day, I have not found out how to change backgrounds and colours because it simply wasn’t worth the hassle. The site sucks, so why should I work to resolve their deficiencies?

However, there are a number of people that I like but haven’t seen in many years who have stumbled upon my space, for lack of a better term, so I’ve let it continue to exist in the nether that is the interwebs. Now that I’m connected to my niece on there, I thought I might invest a bit more into that heap of junk.

Thankfully, I discovered that I don’t really have to. A plugin has already been made that allows WordPress entries to be automatically crossposted to MySpace. Of course, since MySpace has horrendous formatting tools and tends to rip nicely formatted articles to shreds through its ineptness, the writer of the plugin recommends not actually crossposting entire entries. Instead, he gave an option to allow one to post just a reference and a link on MySpace that points to the original WordPress blog entry.

I write all of this to say that I’m have installed and am testing the MySpace crossposting plugin, so I’ll be publishing and playing with this article several times in the next few minutes as I try to get it to post cleanly. I might even update if it works or instead fails so miserably that my soul is devoured and sent to plugin hell. Only time will tell, my friends.

Edit:: Bah, the plugin didn’t work. After it failed time and again and I did some troubleshooting and account creation, etc., I started reading the comments at the end of the original thread/entry (where I found the plugin) and discovered that MySpace made some changes to their site on October 10th and the plugin hasn’t worked ever since. Oh well 😦

Edit deux:: Dear Jesus was that a PITA! So, I’m already in the mood to tinker, and I think, “Hmm, I was interested in switching my CMS from Mambo to Joomla. Maybe I’ll give that a try…” I look up some pages and find a forum that says it’s really easy and here are the two steps I need to do. So, I do a full backup and try the two steps.

tappita-tappita: http://mstublefield.com… 404 FULL OF EPIC FAIL!

And when I try to restore my backups, it doesn’t work. I’m getting MySQL errors after restoring the MySQL backups, errors after restoring Home directory backups, errors errors errors. So I finally wiped everything and restored the backup. That fixed it, thank God.

I don’t know why I do this to myself. I hate screwing with this stuff; it makes me super twitchy and I get worried and stuff never works right the first time and then I freak out because I don’t really care what the backend is so long as it works right and looks pretty on the frontend. Which it does. I need to keep my hands off my PHP -_-;