How to Share
Cue the tired refrain of all lackadaisical bloggers, "I am sorry I haven't written more (but not really that sorry)." I'm not completely absent from the internet though, of course not, in fact I've uploaded forty five photos to Flickr and sent at least sixty three bundles of a hundred forty characters or less to Twitter since the last time I posted anything here.
What I used to think held me back from writing here was something like friction. All the additional steps it would take to post on my own blog, as opposed to Twitter or Facebook, made it a slightly more difficult path for the ideas that I wanted to share, and like an electric current they would choose the path of least resistance. But after streamlining both the visual layout of this blog and the process of posting to it, I still don't find myself writing here often, or writing much at all beyond 140 characters. Maybe that's okay.
I was thinking about it earlier today, the little bits that I do write go for quite a trip thanks mainly to the bit-shuttling duct-tape that is ifttt.
Like many, I accept the dominance of Facebook but still entertain the notion of Google+ as an alternative. I follow people and groups on Twitter who I don't necessarily want to see in my Facebook feed. Sometimes I take a photo and want to share a link with anyone who follows me on Twitter, but I don't want it hosted by photobucket, I want it hosted on Flickr! I want to share different things with different groups in the very specific ways that I decide upon. ifttt gives me that, and it makes me smile like the biggest dork for doing so.
If you are curious how I do it, well, I made a flowchart. Here's how it happens:
- Photos I want to share are uploaded to Flickr from my phone or camera and laptop. Flickr is by far the best photo-whatever on the whatever, and I love them.
- If the photo is tagged "share", ifttt posts a link to it on Facebook, along with the title of the photo and its description (if it has one). Also, ifttt send an email to a funny email address that posts the same photo-link-title-description on Google+.
- If I have a photo and want to make a short quip about it, I upload it to Flickr as per usual but don't tag it. I then grab the canonical flic.kr shortened url and send it along with my super insightful text to Twitter. Unfortunately, Twitter takes the liberty of wrapping any links longer that 19 characters with t.co and makes everything a bit uglier. I wish they wouldn't do that.
- Anything I post to Twitter, whether or not it contains a link to a photo, is reposted to Facebook and Google+ by ifttt. In addition, tweets are (from now on) going to be reposted here by ifttt. I am not yet sure if this is a good idea, but the narcissistic archivist in me thinks that if I am going to be publishing things on the internet, they should have at least one home that I own. This is not a good idea.
- If I want to share something longer that I've written here, I give it the tag "share". ifttt goes to work scraping that tag's RSS feed and forwards the title, content, and url of my post on to Facebook and Google+
Is all of this necessary? Probably not. The things I end up saying to the internet are really of no great import to most people. This might even qualify as spammy behavior towards people I'm connected with on more than one service, as it mainly serves to provide redundancy between services. To them, I apologize. I'll probably outgrow it soon, or just stop writing all together, and maybe that's okay too.