The Crossposting God Series Part 4 – Entry, Distribution, and End Points

May 22, 2008

by — Posted in Technology

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When we think about crossposting, it actually is more in depth then most people think.  From a very simple level you go from one site to another.   At a higher level though you are publishing from a single source to tens if not hundreds of places.   Used correctly crossposting is a very publishing tool that lets you gain readers very cheaply (or free), as long as you are willing to login to all of these other sites to maintain readers and communities.   If you are not willing to login to all these remote services and address comments, suggestions, and criticisms; then crossposting is not for you.

There are three different functions in a crossposting architecture.   These functions include your entry points, distribution points, and end points.   You could also add filtering points but utilizing services like yahoo pipes, but for the moment that is out of scope of this discussion (for the moment).   Each of these steps is important and you need to make sure you don’t get them screwed up or you can be in for one heck of a data cleanup time.

Data entry points are areas in which you interact, create, and start your data.   In my example if I wanted to put up an audio or video post to my blog I would use Utterz.   With Utterz I can be on the road and pick up my phone, record a post, and it automatically gets posted and disseminated throughout my network.  If I have a picture I want to share I normally upload it to Flickr and the chain starts all over again at that scale.   Via  SMS I can insert a quick status update to twitter and alert everyone following me and change my status across many network (I also do this via IM).   For longer written posts I normally start at my own main blog.   It just feels write to actually write this and start with my blog (though other blogs I may write an article on will eventually make it back here).

Distribution points (which in some cases double as end-points in my design) are sites or services that pull in data (or has data pushed into it) and at that point sends the data off to another service.   In my architecture sites that can resend data out via e-mail (such as blogger) become major distribution points for me.   You have the ability to resend out up to 10 e-mails to other services from blogger.  Another major distribution service for me is feedburner, this allows me to shape and filter me RSS feed and push this data out to other services either via widgets or into services that can import in RSS feed data directly.

End points are the sites or feeds in which your readers are actually interacting with you at.  It’s where they are reading and processing your information.  It’s where comments are given and it’s where your data actually has meaning has come to rest.  Some end-points may seem useless in your overall architecture (and yes when you become a crossposting god it is architecture), but how much is the one or two readers worth that may discover you through that service?  Normally it takes only a couple minutes to setup a profile on a new service and set your data in place once it starts from it’s entry point.  If you can’t automate this you need to decide if it’s worth the time to copy and paste the data across.  To me, if I have paste data into an end-point manually, then it’s not worth it to me.   Everything has to be done automatically.

In the beginning of this article I mentioned that you need to make sure you don’t confuse a role in your architecture.   The reason you need to be aware is that you have a chance of regurgitating the same data over and over again across all of your end points.  When this happens the clean up is horrendous and can take anywhere from hours to weeks.   The amount of effort you put in is relative to how much you care about that extra data hanging out on your end points.   The more popular and feedback you get from an end point the more care, feeding, and presentation care you should put into it.

In the crossposting god series part 5 we’ll be covering myspace.

Previous Entries in The Crossposting God Series:

The Crossposting God Series Part 1 – The Introduction

The Crossposting God Series Part 2 – Vox

The Crossposting God Series Part 3 – Live Journal and Derivative Sites

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