TweetDeck Essential in Controlling the Twitter River When Cross Posting to FriendFeed and FaceBook
Twitter is noisy. This is one of the things I adore about the service, the constant chatter. For others, that never-ending stream of information is a bit hard to take. These people tend to gravitate toward other services, like FriendFeed and FaceBook, for a more controlled experience.
Recent changes to both FaceBook and FriendFeed have rendered them much more like Twitter. I talk a bit about FriendFeed’s changes over on the TouchBase blog today, and Triston has discussed FaceBook’s ongoing upgrades here. One of the side effects of being more like Twitter is having an increased noise level in general on FaceBook and FriendFeed, and even more so from people who update to all services.
I use all three, and up until recently was unable to figure out how to satisfy my need to share some of my Twitter thoughts across the three networks easily without being a nuisance feed to my friends on FaceBook and my subscribers on FriendFeed. I tried auto posting my Twitter feed to my FaceBook status for a while, but what was slightly obnoxious before the upgrade quickly became unbearably noisy after it. I didn’t feed my Twitter posts to my FaceBook status for long, choosing instead to do manual updates. If you still do feed Twitter to FaceBook continually, I highly recommend you discontinue your auto feed to FaceBook from Twitter. I assure you, you are driving your friends nuts.
I was also feeding my Twitter stream to FriendFeed, a practice I did not stop until yesterday. With a list of people I follow and talk to in the thousands, you can imagine how noisy this was, and how annoying the @ replies were to FriendFeed users, as there was no way to pick and choose. Regardless, I use FriendFeed as a true content aggregator for almost all of my blogs and networks, finding Twitter a more effective place for me to make connections with people, so I let that one ride for a while. I kept looking for alternative solutions, but until this week had not found one.
TweetDeck has been my Twitter client of choice since I exceeded 1500 people in my stream (up until then I used Twhirl, an excellent program, especially if you manage several client accounts). By allowing me to sort, filter, and many other things, it does what I need it to do. TweetDeck released a beta upgrade recently that allows you to integrate FaceBook. More importantly, it allows you to pick and choose which tweets you send to FaceBook using a handy toggle switch to the right of your post.
This is huge, and solved my river of noise problem on both services. As a rule I tend to want to share a few tweets here and there with people on FaceBook and FriendFeed, and the type of tweets are usually the same. This means I was able to unhook my Twitter account from FriendFeed completely, and instead add my FaceBook statuses to aggregate to FriendFeed. Now I simply click the toggle when I want to share a post with all three networks to generate conversations with people in all three places. This sends my tweet to FaceBook as my status, and then to FriendFeed. Voila! Noise problem solved. Now my friends on FaceBook and my subscribers on FriendFeed only hear things that are valuable, and not hundreds of @ replies a day.
If you are a FriendFeed beta user, you can control the outgoing noise to Twitter as well, since courtesy works both ways. Next time you post to FriendFeed, if you are using the beta (which I highly recommend, it is much improved over the old look and feel) when the CC:Twitter toggle pops up, click “Settings” right next to it. Then turn of the default auto post to Twitter, and only click the toggle to send to Twitter once in a while. Both betas, TweetDeck with FaceBook and FriendFeed, allow us to all be more courteous and genuine with each other. That’s a good thing.