Twitter account? Guilty. Jaiku account? Guilty. Never update those two microblogs after getting a Facebook page? Guilty.
If you haven’t yet discovered the fun world of microblogging, it’s a great way of keeping tabs on what your friends and online acquaintances are up to without having to make the effort of actually contacting them directly. And vice versa. Depending on the service you’re using, you get a certain number of characters (usually 160) to do with as you will, and the usual style of posts ranges from what you’re currently doing, to how your day’s been, to what mood you’re currently in.
What surprised me is the number of emails I’ve gotten in the last couple of weeks informing me that so-and-so is following my Twitter feed – despite the fact that I haven’t updated it in months! Hmmn, this makes my Internet self feel guilty for not making more of an effort. So I decided to do a bit of research and see whether anyone had come up with a microblogging aggregation service that would let me post one status update that would be pushed out to all of the microblogs. Okay, I lie, I actually just read about said service in my RSS feeds, but it makes me sound more proactive if I say I went out and looked for it!
HelloTxt is a free service that lets you update your status across pretty much all of the Web 2.0 services that offer this feature. The well-known ones like Facebook, Twitter, Jaiku, Plaxo, LinkedIn and Pownce are all on-board, but there are some I’ve never even heard of, like Gozub, Feecle, Fanfou and Meemi. All you have to do is sign in to all of the services you use through HelloTxt, then update your status message from the Dashboard. In my quick tests, updates are pushed out to all the specified services immediately, and there’s also a mobile version that’s optimised for small screen sizes.
Yeah, it sounds mundane and a tad teenyboppy, but it can be quite addictive once you’ve got a few of your friends and acquaintances in your feed. The great thing about microblogging is that it forces you to condense your thoughts into a limited space and it involves very little effort on your part to keep it updated. One of my daily luxuries is making a cuppa and browsing through my friends’ status feed on Facebook – makes for some very interesting reading, and through it I can find out that my peers have gotten a new job, moved house, watched a great movie, discovered something new, gone on holiday or are upset about their favourite sports team losing.
Now that I’ve signed up for HelloTxt, it’s my preferred means of updating my status messages across the services I use. I don’t really use Twitter or Jaiku anymore, but I’ve got a few people following me on those services, so the very least I can do is keep them entertained!