If blogging doesn’t improve, FB will steal a march

Okay, Facebook has already stolen a march on blogging tools, of course.

As my Facebook friend Henrik Fohns commented to me a few years back: “Who needs a blog anymore now that we have Facebook?”

Well, those who resist the closed silo. Those who distrust the corporation behind it. Those who want to own their data and want their data to be portable.

That’s the attraction of WordPress: it’s (nearly) free as in beer and free as in speech. At least until proven guilty.

Something funny happened to me half an hour ago. I read an interesting article on Mashable, ‘How News Consumption is Shifting to the Personalized Social News Stream‘, and felt the urge to share it.

Well, that”s not so funny. I share quite a lot of what I read. If I find it worth saving for later reference, I click my browser’s toolbar button to “Note in [Google] Reader”.

My shared reading from Google Reader is public at http:

The RSS feed from that page used to be automagically pushed through Yahoo! Pipes, notify.me and Ping.fm onto Twitter and Facebook, but that stopped working a while ago for mysterious reasons.

So my second-level sharing, if you will, entails (re)tweeting what I read. It’s a social gesture, by way of which I say:

I’ve read this. I found it worth reading. Maybe that tells something about me. Maybe you’ll find it worth reading, too.

My Twitter feed also appears on my LinkedIn profile, by the way, and on my Typepad blog.

To stay with the same terminology, my third-level sharing happens on Facebook. Only recently I’ve started sharing more actively on Facebook because I’ve noticed that quite many people I personally know are more likely to respond on Facebook than on the open web.

Plus: proliferation of FB plug-ins on websites makes it very easy to “like” or “share” things with FB friends. And: I like the easy conversion of links into thumbnails with summary, the re-posting of multimedia content, and the fact that there is no 140-characters limit.

Until this evening, if I wanted to comment on or explore a thought triggered by something I read, I would do this either in the comments section of the original piece, or on my own blog. Only after publishing that comment or blog post would I share it via Twitter and Facebook. That would be my level-four sharing.

But this time I did it the other way around. I shared the mashable article on Facebook first, then added my comments to it, then tweeted the URL of my FB status update.

Then I realized that, even though my Facebook privacy setting for status updates says “Everybody”, it means that only “everybody with a Facebook account” can view it. So I copy-pasted the FB status update into a WordPress blog post and published that onto the open web. Kinda ugly, though.

Now with the post you’re reading now, I’m again doing it the traditional way. I’ll create and publish on WP first, but I’ve set my sharing settings so that it will automatically push it onto my FB profile as well. And onto Twitter.

Why I was tempted to post to FB first was because of better integration with the publishing website. While being on Mashable, it was the faster and neater alternative. Copy-pasting from FB to WP is prohibitively ugly though, so the process really doesn’t work that way around.

Still, this is something that WP should be worrying about. As Dave Winer has pointed out a couple of times on Rebooting the News, people who grow up with Facebook don’t necessarily understand why one should ever need a content management system, i.e. a UI for “drafting” content which is conceptually separated from and indeed looks-and-feels different than the UI of the published content.

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