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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Malfunctioning Feeds

From time to time, the various social networks update their APIs and/or add new features. That's fine, except that I --- like many others --- use front-end tools to cross-post to several sites at once. (I don't have time to separately update half a dozen separate sites and feeds.) When the social networks change, cross-posting tools often break, at least until they adapt to the new changes.

I've been experimenting with various tools for the last week, trying to find the one mythical answer to cross-posting woes. So far, several have come close, but none has worked flawlessly. Some handle tweet-style posts great, but fail with pictures or longer text; some handle text, but choke on photos; etc. Some make for nice RSS feeds, but suck when viewed directly. Sheesh. I apologize for the munged posts.

So far, it look like the best option is to select one tool that does most of what I want, and then stitch together a daisy-chain of other cross-posting tools to backfill the rest. It's not pretty. :)

(BTW: If you're of a certain age, you'll remember when we all used to have to maintain separate accounts on earlier social networks: AOL, CSI, the Source, local BBSs, and more. It was an ugly process then; it's still ugly now.)

You can always reach me through any individual site where I have a feed, or directly at fred@langaonline.com. I apologize for the messiness.

--- Fred

(BTW, if anyone knows of a tool that reliably adapts and cross-posts messages to the major services --- facebook, twitter, blogger, tumblr, etc. --- please, please, please, for the love of all that is electronic, let me know! ;) )