Personalising your social web should be a personal choice.

Personalising your social web should be a personal choice.


I’ve just picked up on (yet) another Twitter app called TwitchBoard. Twitchboard watches your Twitter-stream and notices anytime you post a url, and automatically sends the link to your account. It represents the emerging class of cloud agents that are supposed to help us sort and search the massive volumes of data we interact with regularly.  Others in this genre include Friendfeed, Stumble! and Digg (to name just a few).

I may be in the minority here but I feel slightly troubled by apps such as Twitchboard that want to think for me. I’m perfectly happy to create my own bookmarks in Delicious, which are reasonably well organised and categorised, or to click on Stumble! to add a link to a particularly interesting article I’ve read to my Stumble!  These are conscious decisions I’ve made to provide the ‘semantic glue’ for my personalised social web. I tend to Tweet about fairly trivial stuff and will occasionally link to an article or picture that I’ve found particularly amusing. I don’t necessarily want to store these links for prosperity, or worse, create my own personal tag cloud around a random stream consciousness (though happy for other to use my Friendfeed if this is what they want to do!)

I accept that our social networking connections are getting ever more dense and the data we’re working with is growing too big for ordinary mortals to handle manually. We need help in organising our interests, affiliations, businesses, and collaborations and any applications or agents that can do some of the heavy data lifting for us while allowing us to focus on the meanings and relevance of content are to be welcomed. But ultimate control of our own personalised social web must – in my opinion – be juts that – a personal choice.

7 thoughts on “Personalising your social web should be a personal choice.

  1. I dunno, Steve – I think there might be some value in Twitchboard. I’m generally against services that cross-spam different networks with content, like facebook status and twitter for example, or auto-posting blog posts to twitter.

    But I share quite a few links on Twitter, and not having to go through the hassle of adding them to delicious too would be rather useful.

    One other way around would be to do it in reverse, ie links saved in delicious get auto-shared in Twitter. That seems a better fit to me, as it enables you to do your own tagging and comments etc.

  2. Hi Dave – thanks for the comment. I guess it’s a personal preference at the end of the day. I’m guilty (if that’s the word) of auto-posting blog posts to twitter, but I tend to keep blogs relevant to my professional life and use Twitter as a ‘fun’ social blogging tool. I try to be quite organised about what I tag in delicious and don’t really want to clutter my tags up with trivia.

    I like the idea of delicious links being auto-shared in Twitter. There must be an app that does this – must go and check the top 100 Twitter mashups I’ve just blogged!

  3. Hi Steve,

    I created TwitchBoard, and I appreciate the discussion around it. I think you’re right that TwitchBoard’s auto-post to functionality is not for everyone. There are many ways to “architect” one’s personal social web, and TwitchBoard’s model is just one. I saw that for many people, Twitter was becoming a primary venue for link sharing, but unfortunately Twitter itself is not as well-suited for archiving links as is a more tailored service like After hearing many calls for this type of integration, I decided to build a platform for it, and hope it’s useful for users. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. The good thing about all these apps and agents is that they are giving users more choice on how to organise their social web, so all credit to TwitchBoard (and the many others) who seek to make life easier for the networked masses!

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