Going back to my post on the Twitterization of mainstream media whereby, instead of engaging in link-blogging, I'm using the short messaging service Twitter to post shorter news items to the right side of my blog (see the right side of my blog, you may have to scroll), one thing I've learned is that there are different strokes for different folks. Some people want to be my friend and pay attention to my news tweets (or should we call them treats?) on Twitter. Over in Europe where I was just running Mashup Camp in Dublin, they're pretty crazy about Jaiku (the Twitter competitor that was recently acquired by Google). And still others could care less about Twitter and Jaiku and are instead paying attention through Facebook.
But to post these news treats to three different places is a royal pain in the you know what. I have to be logged into all three all the time, cutting and pasting between them. Ugh.
Enter Zude -- a site that I've often referred to as the Switzerland of the social Web. The better known capacity of Zude to be such a Switzerland is in its ability to be the single destination to which you can invite all your social contacts to view all of your social presences on the Web. For example, you can drag your MySpace home page, your Flickr home page, your Twitter page, etc right into your "Zudescape" and then invite people to that ZudeScape instead of forcing them to go to each of those sites individually. These are not bookmarks either. They are fully operational pages (like your MySpace home page) operating inside of your Zudescape. Not all sites can be dragged and dropped into your Zudescape. For example, sites like Facebook that culturally resist such portability of your digital persona (hey, who's in charge of your data here? you or them?) through techniques like HTML framebusting can't be dragged and dropped.
But the lesser known capacity of Zude is in its ability to be an outbound Switzerland as well. Under Zude's hood is a programming language known as Open5G (Zude's parent company is Fifth Generation Systems a.k.a. "5G") through which developers can build widgets that are capable of interfacing with just about any Web site. Going back to my original pain point which was in updating Twitter and Facebook with the same news treats, I challenged the folks at Zude to build me a widget that accepts up to 140 characters (Twitter's limit) and propogates those characters to my Twitter (as a tweet) and Facebook (as a status update) accounts at the same time. For months now, that widget has been a huge time saver in terms of driving my news treats into both of those digital presences, each followed by a different group of people.
But, as a result of getting to know a lot of the European developers by way of their interest in Mashup Camp, I found that I had to add Jaiku to the mix. For the last month or so, I've been double-posting to my Zude widget (which covers Facebook and Twitter) and then to Jaiku. There is a work around that involves Jaiku converting the tweets it picks up via Twitter's RSS feed into Jaikus. But, in my experience, this is slow and unreliable. Finally, yesterday, I got around to asking the folks at Zude if there was any way they could add Jaiku as one of the services to which my updates get feathered into. Less than 24 hours later, the widget had Jaiku functionality. So, now, I'm basically quintuple posting to Twitter, Jaiku, Facebook, ZDNet (by way of Twitter's badge) and Zude (the widget also serves as a status box within my Zudescape) with one single update.
The screenshot below shows the Zude cross-posting widget (top) with the three primary services (Facebook, Twitter, and Jaiku) checked and the results in each service after posting once into the widget. Now all we need is for Facebook to drop the silly "is" that it automatically puts in front of all status updates (oh wait a minute, that looks like it's finally going to happen tonight!). If this sort of functionality is of interest to you in your daily, hourly, or even minute-by-minute routine, set up a Zude account for yourself, then go to my (David Berlind's) Zudescape, right click on the status widget and pick "Copy to Clipboard." Then go back to your Zudescape, right click anywhere on the page, and select "Paste." Voila. You now have the widget (just another cool feature of Zude... the way you can copy and paste widgets from other people into your Zudescape).