Integrate an announcement service (Twitter/Pownce/Jaiku) in your next release

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As developers, if you’re building services your customers can share, you need to plan on announcement integration.

I keep thinking back to February when I wanted a better way to integrate Twitter. Others wonder about Twitter being a source of lost content, as Cartoon Barry describes well. If a visitor is on my site I want to ensure they can consume everything they’re looking for without bouncing. If they prefer to consume the content elsewhere that’s fine… but they shouldn’t miss it here.

Dave Weiner was looking for a way to integrate a daily links entry back to his (he was posting to Twitter and skipping the daily post). Dave started using the prefix “!” so he could have a service read his Twitter feed and build a daily post. This is a good start, but my thought is that this isn’t the way to go. My ‘starred items’ idea is also not the right approach. Both are moving from Twitter to the blog. Twitter is the announcement service and if we can automate its announcing of what we’re doing, we don’t have to do anything special.

Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, etc are announcement services. Their power is in providing an API other services can hook. The best solution is to intelligently connect Twitter to what you use and to encourage the services you use to integrate with Twitter. Or if you’re building sites and services, do it so your customers get this benefit.

The web-world I see in the next year offers announcement service integration. When I find a site I like, not only does StumbleUpon or Google Reader suck it up and share it for me, but an announcement is fired through my service(s) of choice. When I make changes to Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn profiles, an optional announcement is fired outside their gardens.

This approach doesn’t neglect the social networking aspect of these announcement services. A response should be pulled back as a comment, if available/applicable. All of the announcement services have response API calls. The social aspect of these services is retained and the content becomes more valuable as it is connected with its target.

Think efficiency and value for your customers – Bring announcement to an automated state.