So after numerous tests, lots of time-outs I finally set up my Ping.fm account. Still in it’s early beta, it got many of us excited about the idea of finalising centralising the way we publish our micro-updates to the big web world.
The number of serviced accounts are limited, but targeted. For me, it was an integration of brightkite, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. Very quickly I realised that although this would be a quick click away from updating all my services at once, I became very concerned about 2 very important things.
Audience: Anyone who reads these rants will understand how particular I am about audience. And no, it’s not about appropriate for work and non-work friends. It’s about the particular networks (inside those macros) that are interested in what I’m interested in.
My LinkedIn contacts might not be too concerned with the fact that I’m telling my Facebook friends that I’m enjoying some new music or fixing the stereo in my car.
One Way Conversation: Great. I can tell everyone what I’m doing, thinking or ranting about it in one click. I won’t have to open those windows. But wait – what if I want to know what they’re doing? Then chances are I’d need to be on-site or on-platform anyway, or aggregating it (slowly) through some other medium. I may as well pay them the mind with a relevant update.
The internet and more to the point, social media, should be a two-way conversation. I want to talk to the right audiences about the things relevant to them, and I want to be able to listen to those I’m interested in. If I want to ask a question (as one often does with Twitter) then I’d be far better asking the right people.
In conclusion, I think Ping.fm might be right for some, it’s certainly customisable, but I don’t believe this application will rule them all, nor do I believe it’ll be one that will. It’s certainly a step forward though in the way we integrate our lifestreams.