First, let’s start with a definition. Chris Brogan, in his June 2009 post A Simple Presence Framework, defined outposts as “places of presence that you maintain for interaction and promotion purposes.” He recommend four sites to use for outposts: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
The popular location-based service, Foursquare, was probably missing from Chris’ list either because the site hadn’t gone mainstream yet, or he just didn’t see the site as a legitimate outpost. If the latter is the case, then I agree with him.
Much of my frustration comes from people who cross-post all of their Foursquare check-ins on Facebook, Twitter or both. Like I said, a well timed, and very occasional, cross-post is fine, but most of the time your Facebook friends and Twitter followers just don’t care that you’re at the gas station, the grocery store or the laundromat.
I’ve only seen one friend cross-post a useful Foursquare check-in. He was having dinner at a local restaurant, checked in on Foursquare and cross-posted it to Facebook. Normally, that would annoy the hell out of me, but not this time. He also included a note that he was there for Restaurant Week, and he included a link to more information.
I’ve abandoned Foursquare, so if he hadn’t cross-posted that check-in to Facebook, I might not have known about Restaurant Week, and might have missed some great deals on some great food at our local restaurants.
The other thing that’s been getting on my nerves is the people who cross-post every tweet to their Facebook profile. With all the @mentions and #hashtags that people use on Twitter, many of these posts are just out of context on Facebook.
The point here is to know your audience and the purpose of your various outposts. Don’t automatically post every Foursquare check-in to Facebook and/or Twitter. Try putting some thought into each check-in, deciding if your friends and followers will actually care where you are every minute of the day. I know I don’t.
Are you a chronic cross-poster? Do you think I’m way off base? I’d love to hear your comments either way.
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Image by Laughing Squid