Distribution 2.0 and Notice by Association

Growing friction between the haves and have nots?

Scott Karp observes that a lot of bloggers are using “web 2.0” services to cross-post their entries – he thinks it inefficient. I agree – it is inefficient to find yourself reading the same material via your RSS reader, then via Facebook, only to see it again via Twitter (or Twitter via mini-feed via Facebook, etc. etc.). But a lot of bloggers, particularly those trying to “break out,” are innocently using the distribution channels made available to them to spread their word. For every A-list blogger, well connected to like-kind digerati, there are a million more unknowns. And if those unknowns can garner one extra eyeball a day using the growing number of free services they are simply going to do it. That some heavy users wind up caught in the crossfire is simply a by-product of being an early adopter – you are ahead of the game as far as feed consumption goes and are now paying the price for the proliferation of mashups. Distribution 2.0.

The same goes for Facebook invites. Like a case of rock stars and groupies gone mad, there’s a reason the popular set are declaring “bankruptcy” – everyone wants a piece of them, even if the chunk is nothing more than a name on a friend’s list. The Z-listers have an inkling that curious folks are going to peruse the friends lists of the real players, and if they can get their name on that list they may just get noticed. There is value being in the rolodex, even if you get added so haphazardly. Notice by Association.

Now, the disclaimer: This blog sends linked entries entry titles to Twitter each time a post is done. I’ll probably continue this for immediate future. I’ve since stopped it because seeing updated blog posts on the sidebar was seeing redundancy. (I got rid of the sidebar stuff instead) I also have Twitter included in my Facebook profile, and I include recent posts from this blog as well (via Feed Invasion). Neither data source is included in the Facebook mini-feed or news feed (Scott is right – that would be spammy). In addition, I don’t generally make unsolicited friends requests on Facebook for people I don’t know personally, although I will follow folks on Twitter with already large followings or working in an area I’m interested in (I view them as information nexuses). Following should be based on the flow of information, not the person, in cases where you don’t have a pre-existing personal relationship. Those worth following don’t have the time to make friend/no-friend decisions all day, particular when it can result in the disclosure of more personal information. And I don’t consider passive attention grabbing efforts worthy of my time anyway. If I create something worthy of said attention, I’m pretty certain anyone is going to find out about it, actively, anyway.

UPDATE: Somewhat related – a different take on some of the recent chatter. A bit harsh – many websites wouldn’t gain critical mass (or necessary funding) without the attention or resulting distribution A-listers provide or prime.

UPDATE 2: Loren Feldman mentions Notice by Association on CalacanisCast.

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