Bringing it all together

Ever since the day I began posting my photos to my site, rather than on a photo-sharing service like Flickr, I’ve had the desire to slowly bring all of my "stuff" onto my site rather than spread out through the Interwebs.

As it stands I post what I’m currently doing to Twitter, I am testing out Pownce with mobile blogging, events, links, and files, I post mobile phone photos to Flickr (as well as the occasional screenshot), videos go on Viddler, bookmarks end up on Ma.gnolia, tasting notes end up on Cork’d, and my thoughts on Apple products find their way to TUG.n.

It is exhausting, and starting to become a little bit of a headache.

There are definitely many pros to using each of these services, as I believe each and every one is built very well for their purpose, and each have their own thriving community of users that make you feel right at home. Services like Viddler and Flickr also make sharing videos and photos extremely cost effective. Even with these benefits I always feel as though I’m spreading myself out too wide, so I think I’m going to start pulling all of these bits together here on my site in some fashion.

As it stands, I use my front page as the main way to show the latest activity on each of these services. This has been fine for a while but I now would like to change from aggregating everything to storing everything here, and perhaps pushing updates to the services, rather than the other way around. This isn’t going to be an easy thing to accomplish at first, but once I get everything setup, I think I’ll be much happier and have much more control of what and how I share.

There are a few other benefits to this change, at least for me. Cutting down on distraction is always a goal of mine and my most recent try at this has been to remove a huge portion of my Twitter and Flickr "friends" so that I cut down on a lot of the noise. I’ve also switched the Twitter notices preference to not include @replies from people I am not following, and this has really cut down on the chatter that I’m not even part of. I believe I went from seeing hundreds of Tweets per day to now only seeing a few an hour. Actually, I’m not even seeing that many since I’ve now decided to keep Twitterrific hidden in the background until I need it. I’ll still see @cdevroe messages, so that will still be a valuable way to communicate, but will also cut down on distractions. A win-win.

I’m going to begin working on one service at a time, slowly bringing it all together, and giving each a home here on my site. I’ll try my best to keep a log of my experiences doing each of these, jotting down why I’m handling it the way that I am, and asking for feedback as I find the best solution for me as I go forward. Of course, I’ll be using WordPress as my backbone for this – as I’ve always found it to be extremely flexible and powerful enough for me to do just about everything I want to do.

I’m looking at this as both a fun project and an experiment. Have you ever thought of doing this, or can you point me to some good examples of those who have?

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