Links and Twitter

Steve Dale writes about his uneasiness with a new Twitter mashup service, Twitchboard, which automates the posting of content from Twitter to other social web services. At the moment, all it does is links: if you post a URL to Twitter it also gets pinged to your Delicious account.

I may be in the minority here but I feel slightly troubled by apps such as Twitchboard that want to think for me. I’m perfectly happy to create my own bookmarks in Delicious, which are reasonably well organised and categorised, or to click on Stumble! to add a link to a particularly interesting article I’ve read to my Stumble!  These are conscious decisions I’ve made to provide the ’semantic glue’ for my personalised social web. I tend to Tweet about fairly trivial stuff and will occasionally link to an article or picture that I’ve found particularly amusing. I don’t necessarily want to store these links for prosperity, or worse, create my own personal tag cloud around a random stream consciousness.

I can see some of the value, just in terms of time saving, for cross posting links to Delicious from Twitter. But I think Steve is right in this case – having Twitchboard perform this service would make you think twice about what you post to Twitter, and that’s just no fun. Presumably you also still have to go into Delicious to add tags and stuff (which is where most of the benefit lies) – so it isn’t that much of a time saver after all.

I mentioned in a comment on Steve’s post that actually doing this in reverse makes more sense: links I save in Delicious get automatically shared on Twitter. This is fairly easy to get set up, simply by using the RSS feed from my Delicious account and Twitterfeed to parse each link I share into Twitter.

It will be interesting to see how this works…