When I started Da Blog, I mentioned that “you won’t see me get a MySpace or Facebook account” and I lumped in MySpace and Facebook along with blogs as things I didn’t think there was anyone left in my age group who didn’t have them.
Since then, I’ve seen a number of blogs shacking up with MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter and reposting the posts that are already on their blogs there. I’m wondering, why? You already have an RSS feed, why do you need to put alerts of new posts on Twitter as well? Why repost your blog entirely on MySpace or Facebook and obviate the need for people to visit your blog and view your advertising? If you really want to be on MySpace or Facebook, why not just put your blog there in the first place
I had the same questions shortly after getting my first webcomic-post-created bump, when someone created a feed for Da Blog on LiveJournal. I never really got a satisfactory answer – seems the creator wanted a one-stop shop to read Da Blog and his other feeds from his LJ friends list. I’m not sure if even that applies to MySpace and Facebook (or, to a lesser extent, Twitter).
Well, I think I’ve found the reason why people would dive in to that sort of thing voluntarily: to aid in blog promotion.
The friend function on MySpace and Facebook has become a complete misnomer grossly deprecated from its original function. Probably the vast majority of “friends” aren’t. Celebrities accept every friend request under the sun, allowing any fan to claim their favorite celeb isn’t just someone they really like, they’re BFFs! On the flip side, small-time bloggers and other attention whores (and I use that term to describe a lot more bloggers than the community would like to admit, and I’m one of them) beg for friends on the off chance that people will discover them off their “friends”‘ friend lists. Never mind that when you have 600 friends, they become meaningless. (Some people may not even know who the people are who they apply to be friends with.)
Friends have become trivialized, but their organization hasn’t. The problem with using MySpace and Facebook to pimp your blog is the hassle of applying for friends, and even more so, dealing with friend requests. (One or both may allow for en masse friend approval, without looking at the individual requests, but it’s not a networking site that wants to fight the trivialization of friends. Or spam, for that matter.)
Twitter is better for such a purpose, since “friendship” isn’t reciprocal – there’s a distinction between “following” and “follower” – so people can link you just by announcing they’re following your tweets, and you don’t have to do anything. So between the potential blog-promotion possibilities and my own growing interest in its original purpose (I’m always doing something, ideally), has actually made me seriously consider becoming the latest to follow the crowd and hook up with Twitter.
Oddly, perhaps the major reason why I have some misgivings is the tagline at the top of Da Blog: “The ONLY blog written by Morgan Wick.” That reflects, in large measure, the multi-blog nature of Da Blog as I see it, obviating the need for me to take part in any other blogs. It was originally intended as semi-ironic, since it would be pretty unlikely I (or anyone else) would need any other blogs anyway. But not only has a growth of alternate platforms increased the possibility for things that could be considered “second blogs”, if I were to join Twitter it could easily be considered, despite its restrictions, a second blog for me – if it didn’t even supercede Da Blog.
Besides, I’m better than annoying everyone with what I’m having for dinner.
At least I’m not violating my first-post promise… if only because I’d rather avoid the hassle of coming up with and enforcing a friends policy.