Privacy, Frictionless Sharing, and Hasah Elahi

I originally wrote about Hasan Elahi four years ago following an article in Wired, which described how he was incorrectly questioned by the FBI, and the Tracking Transcience project he began as a result to share everything about his life – where he was, what he was eating, his purchases etc. (My original post is here). Way before frictionless sharing became available to us all!

I thought it was worth sharing his recent TED talk which was queued up in my always growing list of videos to watch;


It’s something which is going to be a growing issues for more of us as ‘frictionless sharing’ and online lives are the easiest for people to track and interact with. Rather than trying to hide everything, perhaps overwhelming the systems with information is the more effective route, particularly, as Elahi points out, the various Government agencies in every country whose stock and trade is information. After all, ‘Everyone’s a curator now

Frictionless sharing and frictionless ambivalence

I’ve been looking at the rise of ‘frictionless sharing’ – exemplified by Spotify autoposting every song you play on Facebook. The insightful Chris Thorpe summed it up well with his blog post comparing it with frictionfull sharing.

What I really want and act upon is that one personal recommendation from someone I trust/respect/like for the one thing that really matters – a new song, a book, an article. Something that someone saw and though they absolutely had to share with me.

After all, I thought at this time of year it’s meant to be ‘the thought that counts’, and ‘it’s better to give than receive’. No thought goes into autoposting, and you’re giving me nothing – except a bunch of unfiltered noise alongside everyone else doing the same thing in my friends list.

Unless you’re doing it to devalue government information agencies, in which case you’re far more interesting than your choice in mainstream pop suggests…

Feed your blog RSS to multiple microblogs: and Twitterfeed

Popular tool lets you distribute your content to a variety of microblogs and social networks – and it can now include your blog content to be shared automatically.

It’s a real-time feed powered by Superfeedr, which pumps out feed in XMPP or PUbsubhubbub formats. At the moment you can only list one RSS feed, but support for multiple feeds is coming in the near future for Ping’s 700,000 users.

If you’re considering the options for RSS autofeeding, Twitterfeed has been the main choice since the early days of Twitter, and also publishes to other networks including Facebook. In March they announced they have over 500,000 publishers sharing more than 1 million feeds.

The advantage of is that integrating the automation into your regular posting service means you’re perhaps more likely to keep it updated and compliment it with non-automated posts, whereas Twitterfeed can encourage a ‘fire and forget’ mentality, where your RSS feed becomes your entire Twitter stream. One solution to this is to create specific identities for your RSS streams. For instance, I tweet at @badgergravling, but also have @thewayoftheweb, @140char_com and @onlinedriver for each of my sites (Please feel free to follow all of them!)

The best way to publish RSS feeds to Twitter?

If you’re looking to publish any RSS feeds to a Twitter account, then apparently you wouldn’t be alone in picking Twitterfeed, as it’s apparently used by nearly 350,000 publishers.


Not only was it around the first default choice, but there are a host of changes now going live to improve the service.

If you publish on a system that offers PubSubHubbub feeds (e.g. Blogger or Typepad), your new posts should be live on Twitter in a matter of moments.

It now also features the option to publish to Facebook, which makes life a little easier.

And you get better analytics – there’s now integration with both url shortner, and Google Analytics.

And behind the scenes there’s an improved queue management system for greater reliability.

In fact, my only complain from a personal note is that the new design and system gives a variety of methods to log-in, and for some reason I’m struggling with mine!

Mashable misses something in the Posterous vs Tumblr showdown

I’ve long been a fan of Mashable amongst the top tech blogs, and this comparison of the Tumblr and Posterous services goes some way to explaining why.

They combine news with good in-depth analysis of services to show what exactly you might want to use them for – and in general this article is pretty good.

It does have one major, major, major omission, though, which is so obvious as to appear almost intentional.

When Jennifer Van Grive details the autoposting options Posterous offers, she writers:

‘a single Posterous video post could auto-post to Twitter, Facebook , YouTube and Vimeo and blog sites, while photo posts could automatically add images to your Flickr, Facebook, and Picasa accounts.’

What she doesn’t make clear is that Posterous will actually autopost to Tumblr.

That’s a major advantage to Posterous, and certainly a major element for discussion in a ‘head-to-head’ comparison.

And as you can see, it’s something I’m playing around with at the moment, with my Posterous blog, and my Tumblr blog linked.