THERE was a time when being able to quickly send information to be published at multiple places on the Internet was difficult and expensive.
Big PR newswires, for instance, charged hefty fees for the ability to have your press releases and other information distributed to multiple points where investors could receive them.
But just as blogs and social networks removed the barriers to publishing information online, new technologies are making it easier for ordinary people to distribute messages to multiple points across the Internet, in most cases faster than the PR wire services can.
Take this post for example. Using a plug-in called PingPressFM, a short message and a link to this post will be distributed almost instantly to several outposts on the web, including to Facebook, LinkedIn, Jaiku and Identi.ca.
Then, if I make a change to this post and want to let people know, I can use a tool called Twhirl to push out another message alerting people to the change and link them back to this post. (See how to do that )
Now, the other important thing to understand is that I set this up only a couple of hours ago. I’m not even sure how well it works yet. Turns out my blog host needs to upgrade some software for the plug-in to work properly.
But Steven, aka soldoutactivist, who developed the PingPressFM plug-in, just did some work on it for me on a Saturday night a minute or so after I contacted him on Twitter. How’s that for customer service!
So I’ll only know how well this works when I push “publish” on this post. Which I’m going to do now…
Update: It worked. Within a seconds of posting this, a message and link to this post appeared on Facebook, Identi.ca, Twitter, and Jaiku. LinkedIn did not update, but that site is having technical issues lately. In time, I will add other distribution points and people who follow IR Web Report will receive updates wherever they are and on whatever device they choose. They can also get the full-text via RSS if immediacy is not important to them. As I said, a couple of hours for me to do this. And this is just the start. Paid newswire services are obsolete.
There is only one problem, though. I’m not only interested in pushing out information faster and wider, I’m interested in getting it back from you, the people consuming it. Until this is a two-way system and there are tools that can pull in all the reaction, there cannot be a real conversation. But we have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is everywhere.