This week a new blogging platform has launched and as well as allowing you to create posts and update your mum on the inane things going on in your life, it also lets you collect together all of your online activity into one place. But do we really need that kind of neat and tidy approach to social media?
Overblog is a platform that aims to bring together everything you do online, so you can stream all of your check-ins, status updates, Instagram snaps and other properties to one place.
It says it's not just a blog, but as you sign up it asks you what you want to call your blog, umm. So you can show everyone posts from your Overblog (which is the blog bit of the blog that isn't a blog), and then content from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram and YouTube too.
It's a great idea in theory and certainly looks good on paper. Hmm, are there any more ways for us to suggest that this might not work so well in the wild?
Frédéric Montagnon, co-founder of Overblog, explained the thinking behind the platform:
"With the development of platforms dedicated to particular content types (Instagram and Flickr for photos, YouTube and DailyMotion for video, Pinterest for images, Foursquare for geo-localisation, Twitter for micro-messages, etc), users have a fragmented online presence, which poses a visibility problem for those who wish to develop and influence an audience."
He's hit the nail on the head right there. Overblog is great for those who want to develop an online audience, but in many ways it's a bit unnecessary for the rest of us. After all, even the biggest social media whores like to keep some things separate. Montagon uses the term "fragmented" like it's a bad thing, when really that's the way many of us like it, different audiences and interactions between Facebook and Instagram, between Twitter and Foursquare. As intelligent human beings, we like compartmentalising things and engaging with different networks in different ways.
However, with three million registered users to date in the US it must be doing something right. From what we can tell it would probably make quite a decent blogging platform, it's got plenty of themes that are all fully customisable, access to analytics, multiple users, free and hosted accounts, the list goes on. Maybe the team need to stop talking about "aggregating", "streaming" and "bringing together your social media properties" and just focus on making the blogging platform to rule all blogging platforms instead?
Watch this space, Overblog could well be the "next big thing" online, or just prove far too tidy and convenient for our messy heads and social lives.