When you engage in on-line social networking and community, you need to consider the architecture of your presence and sharing efforts. My friend @uCMLE’s comment to my recent post about Good Noows concerning how to avoid noise and echo chamber effect across linked social networks is well taken – excessive signal dulls the listener’s senses and mutes the message. Because there are so many options, the best tools are the ones that increase your signal, decrease noise and provide the best feedback and conversation.
I can’t say that I have completely avoided the multiple post problem or nailed the most efficient system for finding, curating, sharing and discussing relevant and interesting pieces of information that float along by me in the stream. But I can say that I am always on the lookout for a new dinghy to negotiate the rapids.
One such tool that has recently caught my eye is Amplify (link here). While it shares the same short-form, blurb-like aspect of Twitter complete with followers, it presents a slightly different variation on the theme, with a greater emphasis on aggregation and broadcasting out (like my old pal Friendfeed). In many respects, Amplify is a cross between Twitter and a social bookmarking site like Delicious – you collect and share links and interesting pieces of information you cull from the Web within Amplify. And, like Ping.fm, you can specify the myriad of networks outside Amplify that will receive your shares. Like Friendfeed, these efforts are aided by a browser bookmarklet, making it easy to surf, clip and share out to Amplify and then the world.
Amplify itself places greater emphasis on use of the site to encourage conversation on-site about the shares, something it’s copywriters believe distinguishes Amplify from Twitter. There is an active on-site community that will engage you. You also have a greater degree of control of teh depth of content you can provide – instead of simply shortening URLs and embedding them in the text of a 140 character post, Amplify permits web clipping and commenting on specific parts of articles and blogs, as well as online images or videos. The Amplify bookmarklet can be used in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer or you can access Amplify via Firefox add on. Bookmarklet here and Firefox add-here.
Amplify shares out by autopost to Twitter, Facebook, Ping.fm, Tumblr, Posterous, Plurk, Diigo, Bit.ly, Friendfeed, Delicious and Clipmarks.com. You can still use Bit.ly to shorten links and you can clip and share items from your Google Reader. Links from Reader shares go straight to the source – which I find very sweet.
You need to create an account to use Amplify, or you can use your social log-ins via Facebook or Twitter to access the service. Choose a URL for your Amplify page, supply an email address and you are off.
The real reason I am interested in Amplify right now is their recently-released news that Amplify is extending its bookmarklet to mobile devices. For me, this is huge. My current technique for mobile sharing on my iPhone is to navigate to a page, copy the URL, hit up my bit.ly bookmark, shorten, then share out to Twitter. That represents a lot of steps. Amplify promises to collapse that process down to a single click, a huge savings in the efficiency column, with the net result of hitting up all the autopost sites you have designated within Amplify.
You can find Amplify’s mobile bookmarklet here. It will work on different platforms, so Android and Apple iOS users alike can reap the benefits.
Being able to surf and share via mobile device will become crucial as more people turn to smart phones and tablets running mobile OS. Consider Amplify’s mobile bookmarklet as the first baby steps toward bringing the desktop sharing experience to the mobile masses. And consider Amplify – a richer, short-form sharing site with solid aggregation and broadcast features.