Shortly after I first started blogging, I started broadcasting my content to a variety of websites. Because I figured, why not? The costs of setting up syndication are low. Most blogging tools have RSS built in, and a lot of websites accept RSS feeds. StumbleUpon and Technorati are two examples of what I’m talking about here.
Then there’s the sites that contain some kind of profile but also allow for sharing content – generally through some kind of “widget.” LinkedIn, Brazen Careerist, and Careerealism’s private Ning network all fall under this category (we can analyze why these are all career focused later). Here too the initial costs are low, so why not set up syndication? Especially in light of the fact that many people already have profiles on at least one or two websites with this feature.
The third kind of syndication is link sharing websites. Digg, Delicious, and so on. These require slightly more effort in terms of setting up individual links to individual content. Which changes the dynamic a bit; as an example, Digg requires that the community like what you’ve submitted in order to give it any kind of recognition.
And let’s not start on ways to share your contributions from one network to another automatically. While you can easily share content across platforms this way, you can also blur the lines between what you keep public and what you keep private.
Are more places to go for the same content ideal? Perhaps not. There is a balance, I think, between promotion and overextension. I believe that brands should customize their message to the platform they’re using; why don’t I do that? I suppose that part of it is because of my desire to reserve my username across a variety of sites – if I’m setting up an account, why not take a minute to add a link here or there?
Will I change how I (don’t) use the sites I’ve listed above now that I’ve written this? Probably not. Perhaps there is some kind of opt-in/opt-out psychology at work here. Or maybe I just don’t want to mess with something that isn’t broken.