Friendfeed, Twitter, Facebook: mashups and duplicate data

When things are mashable, they will be mashed. Unfortunately, that means that users sometimes have mashed potatoes instead of baked.

Which isn’t a problem, of course, if you like mashed. But sometimes – and this is an example – mashed leads to issues. Notice the multiple duplicate posts:


I like Friendfeed, but mostly feed it on autopilot from Twitter and other services.. So, apparently, do others. When multiple services have the same information, and they’re all reporting it in … there’s a problem. I’ve seen the same problem on FaceBook … multiple feeds of the same event, leading to a low signal-to-noise ratio.

Social networks are going to need to be more careful about what they consume as feeds and inputs. Some kind of duplication filter would be an excellent idea. Obviously, the trick would be not getting any false positives and deleting important data.

The reality of the social media landscape today is that there are hundreds of networks, many interconnected in complex ways via APIs, RSS, and other protocols. While there will be some degree of consolidation in social networks, people are going to continue to join multiple networks in an attempt to be where the action is.

Networks like Friendfeed and Facebook, therefore, will have to find ways to filter the duplicates.