Overexposure and underattention

Since the emrging of social networks has the web given us a plethora of options to tell our friends, colleges, fans and stalker what we are doing right now. The one with the most heard name on the web is of course Twitter but that is far from the only one. We have Jaiku, Plurk, Pownce ... need I to continue?
And these services are not alone. Most social networks like Facebook give us the option to change our status, and so do our Instant Messengers, location aware service as BrightKite and Plazes, the list goes on and on.
Most people don't use any of these services so for them the story ends right here. Then there is a large group that use one or two of these services, and for them too the story is done. They follow their timeline on the service they are subscribed to, read the updates of their friends and continue with what they are doing.
And then there is this last tiny little group of people. The constant Beta testers who subscribe to almost any new service that's available, I do not consider myself to this group, more or less a borderliner, I do have too much accounts on these services. This group of people have two problems; first updating all your statuses on these services, reading all these messages of all their friends.
The first problem can nowadays easily be solved with (yet another) service as hellotxt or ping.fm. What these do is update all your subscribed services at once and telling all your friends what you are doing ('picking my nose').
The second problem is also easily solved with for example friendfeed. Most users who have a lot of subscriptions have a friendfeed account as well. And friendfeed aggregates all your webpresence into one timeline.
Problem solved right?
Wrong.
Just take an imaginary friend Bob. And Bob updates his status with Twitter, Facebook and Jaiku. Now Bob is lazy and smart so Bob uses Ping.fm to update all three with one single message. Bob types: Weekend starts early this week! and all his friends on the networks envy Bob because they still have to work.
Bob also has a friendfeed account which aggregates all Bob's subscriptions. On friendfeed Bob's timeline tells us three times his weekend starts early.
Now let's introduce Alice. Alice only uses Jaiku and reads Bob's message. Her weekend starts early too, and Alice thinks it would be sweet to meet up with Bob. She types: @Bob Sweet, let's have a beer and a chat together and watches her screen in anticipation. For all Alice knows, Bob is present on Jaiku and he sure would read her message.
What Alice didn't know is that Bob forgot all about Jaiku three months ago. He did not even know he still updates his status on Jaiku. He once told ping.fm to do that and never touched the settings again. Well, Bob and Alice never met that weekend and Alice lost faith in Bob.

Some considerations:

  • Using both hellotxt/ping.fm and friendfeed chances are you're overexposing yourself to at least all your friendfeed subscribers.
  • Using hellotxt / ping.fm chances are big you miss replies on services you not often visit
  • Forwarding your friendfeed then again into one of the aggregated service, please tell me that you would not even consider this would you? (e.g reading on twitter that your friendfeed updated with a new twitter message and this can recurse ad infinitum)
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