The Failures of Borg Blogging: My Blog Connects to Buzz, Facebook and Twitter, but Promises Are Broken

I’ve connected my Buzz to my Google Reader using Justin Korn’s instructions. My blog entries will now automatically be Google Buzzed and sent to my Google Reader shared items.

But the medium is the message, and creating one info entry for multiple Web platforms will always incorporate a bit of failure.

It’s efficient, but there’s no getting around the fact that, for example, a good Tweet is not a good blog entry.

But what makes a good Buzz? Well, Google’s service can accommodate just about anything with its “expand this post” option. It seemingly has no constraints. Great, right?

Maybe not.

Buzz’s flexibility is one reason why it failed to take off to the extent of Twitter.

No constraints on Buzz’s ability to incorporate content means Buzz has no constant and clear promise about what kind of information experience you are going to have when you interact with it.

On the Web, metadata about your content — clear indications of what it is about, how long it might take to consume it, what payoff there might be, why it matters — are just as important as the content itself. The Web is a grazing medium with an effectively infinite number of alternatives at all times for people browsing your content. If people want to leave, it’s very likely they will.

On Buzz you could get two words, or videos, or 500 words and a pic, or just a link, or whatever strikes a sharer’s fancy. It’s complicated. You don’t know how long a Buzz will take. Your time is vulnerable.

Compare that to Twitter’s promise: No more than 140 characters.

So simple. Even if the topical focus of the content varies, the information will remain digestible because of its limited length. Your time is protected.

Time is our most precious commodity. Attention, too. Services that enhance our ability to use them effectively will win the day, even at the cost of sacrificing flexibility of information experience.

What I’m doing by updating my entire network with one post of a style best accommodated by my blog is compromising the promise made by different Web services. I bring a cold business-like approach to Facebook and its strength in adding virtuality to real-world relationships; I avoid the clear brevity required by Twitter; with Buzz, I … well, Buzz has no promise.

Will this be worth it? Don’t know. But if you’re a company with money to spare, I suggest customizing your communication to each Web service.

Until I get those deep pockets, I’ll experiment with feeding my chain of interconnected sites (Twitter, Buzz, Facebook Fan Page, Google Shared Items) with this blog. I have a feeling it won’t last.

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