Should You Really Unlink Your Feeds?

One of the posts that made me think in the past week was called Unlink your feeds. It is a manifesto by Tim Maly of Quiet Babylon which calls for us to “stop automatically dumping [our] feeds from one account into another.”

This is contrary to the way many of us choose to operate. When I started blogging the best advice was to spread your feed around and have it appear absolutely everywhere. When lifestreaming services started appearing it was a simple matter to import my blog feed to make another location where people could keep up with my content.

Why Link Your Feeds?

There are several advantages to doing this:

  • you make your content available in the location where people are
  • you increase the number of mentions you get online
  • as a result you might boost your social karma (if that’s important to you)

Why Linking Feeds May Be Bad

There’s no denying that a search for my name will bring up several of the social media sites where I have a presence and that’s not all bad. At the same time there are several disadvantages of having everything appear everywhere.

  • your content is duplicated all over the web
  • you are boring your friends and followers, particularly if they follow you in more than one location
  • you are adding to the information overload (without adding anything new or useful)

I was particularly struck by the part of Tim’s manifesto that posited a better way.

He points out that each social network is different and therefore you should interact differently on each of them. His statement has a ring of truth. While my audience intersects there are some people who only appear on a single network and I have to admit that some of those people probably get short-changed. I can just about keep my head above water with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – any more would require more time than I have, so I may not interact as much with those who befriend me on some of the less active networks.

Living The Manifesto?

Perhaps that’s one reason why Tim’s manifesto struck a chord with me. The other is that I have been trying to reduce duplication on my social media accounts for the last few weeks. I have reduced the number of sources going in to Friendfeed and pared down my Facebook stream. And on my new Tumblr account I have gone one better and decided not to import any existing sources at all but to save it for something I am not posting anywhere else.

Have you read this manifesto? How do you feel about it? Has it changed the way you treat your feeds?


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  1. Chris | JumpstartMyP March 4, 2010
  2. Blog Angel a.k.a. Jo March 4, 2010
  3. gew March 4, 2010