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Posted at 7:50 AM ET, 01/24/2011

PostPoints tip: Don't pollute Twitter with other services

By Rob Pegoraro

The growing popularity of Twitter--it now claims 175 million registered users--has led numerous other applications to try to piggyback on the status-update service's popularity. Sometimes, that's helpful; another social-networking site can customize itself based on your Twitter settings if you grant it access to your account. Sometimes, though, linking a different service to Twitter will only annoy your Twitter audience. I'm not talking about malicious applications that will spam your friends, but more specialized social-media apps that invite you to broadcast your activity there to your Twitter followers.

For example, Foursquare will let you broadcast some or all of your check-ins on Twitter, you should think carefully about how many of the people following you care to know that much about your whereabouts. The situation is even worse with Apple's iTunes Ping, where associating your Twitter account automatically broadcasts everything you do on that (largely unused) social network. You should be able to turn off this kind of Twitter cross-posting in whatever settings interface you first enabled it (in Foursquare, via its smartphone application's preferences screen; in Ping, by clicking an "Edit Profile" button on your iTunes Store account-info window), but you can also revoke that site's permissions from within Twitter.

(About the "PostPoints tip" title: I archive each tip-of-the-week e-mail we send to PostPoints members under this blog's "Tips" category. Today's item went out on Jan. 18.)

Meanwhile, Sunday's column evaluated how the conditions the government set on Comcast before approving its NBC Universal deal might open up the market for online video--if everything goes right. (Sorry, no Help File this weekend.)

2:23 p.m. So what happened to Help File? After I filed the piece, it got stuck in the gears of our editing machinery: An ad got moved around late in production and the column somehow got bumped off the page. (I suspect the confusion introduced by the Sunday Business section's new design had something to do with that.) On the upside, this means I've filed next Sunday's Help File a full 10 days in advance.

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 24, 2011; 7:50 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Google promises searchers less spam, fewer content-farm results
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Someone recently asked me if I work at all b/c of all the posts from my GoodReads app on FB during the day. I explained I try to update it when most people aren't on so as not to spam their news feeds. It also caused me to realize that I didn't know how much the GoodReads app was actually posting on my wall.

Also, people's own posts are to blame as well. Programs like HootSuite can really streamline the process of updating multiple social networks, but there is nothing more annoying than seeing hashtags in my FB news feed. You don't feel like you're being spoken to. It feels like more of a broadcast. I have to compliment you Rob on how you differentiate your posts for the same article on FB and Twitter. It makes a difference to me. Keep it up!

Posted by: jasoncostello42 | January 24, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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