Refactor your life step 6 — Interoperate

Oh what a tangled web we weave… — Sir Walter Scott

Ok, so perhaps I’m not practicing to decieve (the full quote is “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to decieve”), but still, the web is tangled regardless.I posted on Why Enterprises are Sucker-punched by Web2.0 earlier which got me thinking about what the complexity and interaction on the web really looks like so I thought I’d further illustrate that the web is an eco-system by trying to map out my own little corner of the web. This brings me nicely on to the next topic of my re-factor your digital life series which is to Interoperate.But first, here is my little eco-system:


As you can see, it’s a tangled web indeed. This is really only what I consider my core on-line presence, I haven’t really included other services that I don’t use (Plaxo), are incidental in nature only (Feedjit), I still intend to get rid of (Jaiku), or are more personal in nature (for example Dopplr also links to my family blog). I also haven’t shown the series of feeds etc. that keep me on top of what’s going on.The coloured dots represent the direct inputs into the system, either mobile, through a PC client or via the Web.The dotted lines show the various automated data feeds between the systems.The solid lines show the direct links and click-throughs.A few comments on all of this:

  • The hub of my presence is now this blog. All relevant services feed into and can be reached from this blog. I’ve tried to close the loop. It’s paying off, a contact from IBM commented today he had seen the blog because he linked to it when we connected on LinkedIn.
  • Actually it’s not as complex as it looks in some respects because much of the networking below the interface layer is now self tending and it’s actually contextual in terms of time and place at the input layer.

Of course, the choice of services is not as random as it might appear. I’ve been putting a bit of thought into the core services I want to use and why.

  • Wordpress ( — Drives this blog and is very customisable to let me link in my other on-line presences in a nice, clean template. This blog represents to some degree what I am thinking about and exploring where I can share and learn from others.
  • Twitter — I use Twitter because it keeps many of my profiles “fresh”, for example, even if I don’t post daily, the Flash badge on BinaryPlex let’s you know I’m still around. TwitterFeed promotes my blog entries in Twitter to those contacts, while TwitterSync means that my FaceBook status is always fresh and up to date. I’m also learning lots and making connections with Twitter (especially since I discovered Summize which lets me discover people and conversations I might be interested in).
  • Dopplr — My main purpose for blogging and my on-line presence is ultimately to connect with people around ideas. Dopplr gives me the opportunity to take this one step further and potentially lead into the physical space as well.
  • LinkedIn — People’s mileage on LinkedIn will vary, but for me, it’s a better address book, which has the advantage that you update your contact details without me needing to keep track of you. With many sites adding LinkedIn support it’s a nice way to get set up with new sites and quickly find friends you want to invite or who already use a service and you connect to. Finally, it’s the other half of my on-line presence — if is what I’m thinking and doing, then LinkedIn is a more professional, consolidated record of what I’ve done.
  • — I could use, I’m used to, it does what I need and others I work with use it too. My challenge on the social bookmarking front is that with a trial of an internal bookmark service in DogEar now, I’m struggling to figure out how to manage both services — I want my bookmarks external, but I recognise the value internally for people who won’t use a service like
  • Facebook — Actually I don’t really use Facebook much at all anymore, I got sick of the spam and generally speaking the people I want to connect with on a more serious level aren’t on there anyway. With TwitterSync, my Facebook friends get a live update on me and what I’m up to, I’ve turned down all the notifications and I go on-line occasionally to connect socially with some of the people that I don’t find in other spheres.

So that’s step 6, inter-operate, plug and connect to make a more streamlined, connected on-line presence.

Step 1: Get a better browserStep 2: Explore your mail hosts options and consolidate your mail into fewer accountsStep 3: Update your blog software and templateStep 4: Be consistent and be you!Step 5: Evolve your digital lifeStep 6: Interoperate and connect