Six Apart wrestles the social-media dragon

The software company behind TypePad and Movable Type launches a Facebook app that lets users update a whole lot of blogging and messaging accounts from one interface.

A look at Six Apart's Blog It, a tool that lets you manage both blogging accounts and messaging services from a single page. Six Apart

The Web might have just gotten one step closer to a universal "social dashboard" capable of managing an array of blogging, messaging, networking, and media applications. It's a small step, but still a move in the right direction.

Six Apart, the software company behind blogging platforms TypePad, Movable Type, and Vox, has launched a new Facebook application called "Blog It." Facebook members who install the application can post to multiple blogging services at one time, update their Facebook status in sync with micro-blogging services like Twitter, and have updates from the app appear in their Facebook Mini-Feeds .

David Recordon, who holds the title of open-platforms lead tech at Six Apart, told me the thinking behind Blog It was "how we can start to bridge some of that gap between blogging and social networking." In its launch form, Blog It is a little bit limited, but seems to be on the right track; within its Facebook application, you can simultaneously update any Six Apart blogs as well as Google's Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal (formerly owned by Six Apart), and a number of others.

Once you've typed the world's next great blog post, you can opt to have a notification sent to your Facebook activity feed as well as accounts on the Twitter or Pownce micro-blogging platforms. Beyond that, you can also send a single "status" message to Twitter and Pownce as well as the Facebook Status feature.

The application is powered by Six Apart's TypePad technology, and currently accepts HTML code but is otherwise rather feature-light. Recordon said it will see updates and improvements as time goes on.

Right now, Blog It is limited to Facebook's platform. Recordon said he'd consider the possibility of a light, downloadable desktop application in the manner of Twhirl, a Twitter client that simultaneously updates Jaiku and Pownce. He also said that because Six Apart was one of the inaugural partners in the OpenSocial developer standard , OpenSocial versions of Blog It are likely on the way. "We could probably see this running inside Plaxo," Recordon hinted.

Plaxo, which recently made the jump from contact management to social networking , has been one of the chief evangelists behind account portability and feed aggregation-- occasionally bumping elbows with more conservative sites like Facebook in the process.

With the phrase "social network fatigue" becoming commonplace, there are now a handful of different standards opting to consolidate user and developer data , not to mention a number of new start-ups that aggregate feeds from social sites across the Web so that (ideally) you can see exactly what your friends are doing, all in one place. Blog It, however limited, nevertheless goes a step further by letting you update multiple blogging platforms, broadcast those updates to multiple social-messaging sites as well as share them on Facebook, and create a universal "status."

And with the way things have been going, one of these days we'll see an application that can manage multiple accounts as well as let us keep tabs on our friends.

Facebook, meanwhile, announced Tuesday that it would be gradually allowing members to incorporate activity feeds from external social-media sites like Flickr and Yelp into their profiles.

 

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