Landing : Athabascau University Smart Social Media Automation

One of a number of services, tools and plugins to enable syndication of content to and from various social media. As far as I can tell this is, in some ways, not quite as smart as something like Known, inasmuch as (from a cursory glance) it seems to only handle original posts: it doesn't look like it enables consolidation of responses and comments from across different systems. However, though it does seem to allow the kind of curation that Known offers as well, its purpose seems a little different - primarily, it's a distribution and consolidation tool, rather than a platform or hub in itself. It looks fairly straightforward to use though, as with all such things, beware of its business model. One way or another, it is presumably seeking to make money, and the only clear product I can see this selling is you.

An observation: in many ways this trend towards sending content across multiple networks is the opposite of a mashup or blend. Mashups and blends aggregate, whereas this model distributes. However, in terms of end product, and indeed in the execution of this particular tool (which uses both models), the results are similar. Whether through publication or aggregation, it's a means to glue together a variety of different social sources. We desperately need this kind of thing if we are to avoid the dangers of proprietary lock-in, such as echo chambers, filter bubbles, and lost engagement. We also need to think about models like this when building social applications: no system stands alone any more, if it ever did, and two-way exchange between systems, as well as ways to integrate multiple services, is critical. In an ideal world, systems would use open standards and APIs but Facebook and its kin have pretty much killed that for now. They are too greedy: in the long run, they will kill the golden goose that way. In the absence of openness, we need middleware like this to regain ownership of our social media, data, and connections.


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