Group-posting to Twitter and Facebook (and other microblogging sites)

By Tim Wayne  

Last week I posted this frustrated-sounding blog entry.

I can post a status update to Facebook on my cell phone by texting a message to a specific phone number.

I can post a status update to Flickr on my cell phone by texting a message to a specific phone number.

Why hasn't someone figured out a way to text a message to a number that will put my status update on both?

This week, a friend forwarded to me a great post by HighTechDad which explained that not only was this service out there from competing companies (competition = faster development), it does way more than just the Facebook and the Twitter.

Understand the Offerings
Read the site descriptions and see what they claim to offer:

Ping.fm – “Ping.fm is a simple service that makes updating your social networks a snap.” Drilling down:
Use AIM, GTalk, iGoogle, WAP, iPhone/iPod Touch, SMS or E-mail and let Ping.fm relay your message to a multitude of social networking sites.

Hello.txt – “HelloTxt::We are Status.” More details:

HelloTxt is an aggregate of microblogging services through which the user can insert their messages on all main microblogging services in a simply and simultaneous way.

Pretty similar, no? Let’s continue!

Look Beyond Just Posting
Another critical thing to look for is if the service is trying to do more than simply hook into these other Social platforms for posting your statuses or messages. Both Ping.fm and HelloTxt.com will continue to try to “one-up” each other. One difference right off the bat is the ability to customize which set of Social Networks receive your messages. With Ping.fm, you can create custom groups for various types of services. With Hello.txt, one is able to select and de-select individual services per post.
Another big difference between these two is the fact that HelloTxt.com seems to be making a play at having two-way communications. They have a section of their site called “Status Snap” which actually pulls in updates from two of the popular social sites (Twitter & Facebook) with others promised to be added soon. This is the first step towards making this a full two-way aggregator.
On the other hand, Ping.fm opens its API for integrations as well as offering an ability to post updates to a custom URL. A smart developer could then create a script that parses the Ping.fm messages for further use elsewhere.

So, that post helped a lot. Thanks HighTechDad!

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