Spreading content and the automatic cross post culture

Today we had some serious rain, it went on solidly for about 30 minutes. I really liked the wave patterns the water made on the tarmac, so I thought I'd try and capture it on video. I took this as an opportunity to try out video on my camera, which I've never really done before. I should have grabbed the camera's mini tripod to give the video less shake. I'm quite impressed with the quality, especially as this was shot through double-glazed windows. I need to get an external microphone for my camera, and then I'll be able to join the video podcasting scene.

I've also not experimented with uploading video to Flickr before, it's always just served as a photo repository for holiday snaps. Flickr have also introduced the short URL flic.kr for sharing pictures and videos on Twitter et al. This puts me in an awkward position, I've got too many options for uploading and sharing media on profiles and blogs.

Posterous have been experimenting with autoposting to external services and platforms like Twitter with APIs, just by taking any data you send to them via email. I'm able to use it for posting to any blog, my Tumblr and Twitter from conferences, so does that render other services I'm subscribed to, like Flickr, useless? No! I'll still use Flickr for my holiday albums but probably never for sharing content on Twitter.

How I post my content and where I publish it are related issues. I can post to any site and have it stay there, or have the content forwarded and posted to another site as well. I'm really not a fan of the cross posting culture that you increasingly witness on the blogosphere. I don't believe you can claim to be "plugged in" to a blogging community just because your posts are actually coming from one email to Posterous which pushes content to Twitter, your blog, FriendFeed and Tumblr (and maybe more). That's just being noisy.

I hate that I've used Posterous in this example. Posterous is not to blame for this cross posting culture, their service is superb, and it will only get better. The problem here is the people using services like it. They know that a greater audience will see something they have created if it is posted everywhere. What we've ended up with isn't just an echo, but a series of echoes. How do we tidy up this mess?

There are two groups of people I have a huge amount of respect for:

  1. those that are able to maintain profiles on a handful of the platforms (Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous etc) and post unique content to each, and to take part in each community's conversation
  2. people that can use FriendFeed to filter the real-time web properly, that can see through the cross posting culture, and have a conversation around any and all content. These people understand the echo problem and are working with a solution (although I don't think FriendFeed is necessarily the solution)

I place this cross post culture next to the issue of "quality vs quantity" because I think the hunger for a large audience is close to the root. If content publishers are struggling to get page views and subsequent ad revenue then they are going to resort to cross posting, just as Mashable does with their Tumblr. But as an individual that enjoys the conversations inside each community, what's your excuse?