The web 2.0 era brought along a number of cool sites and services which made online conversations and sharing an easy and elegant process. No wonder the number of chain emails I receive (you know, those emails from friends containing pictures, jokes and all) have been decreasing over the years. I hardly receive any of them these days.
My friends and kins prefer services like Facebook and Twitter over email to share articles, conversations, images and videos. And rightly so. They are built for sharing and do a better job than email at that.
So, it’s good that a lot of sharing is happening but the problem is that none of that is centralized. If you are someone like me who participates on several social sites, and want to customize your sharing across all those sites without investing a lot of time, you’d agree that there aren’t many good tools that help you do that.
While previously mentioned Posterous also has an auto-post feature, there’s a new tool called Amplify that, in my opinion, does a better job at centralizing your social sharing. It has some really cool features which make sharing across multiple social sites a cakewalk (and hence, a lot less time consuming).
What is Amplify Exactly?
Amplify is a clipping cum micro-blogging cum sharing service that lets you create and post text, images and videos to a micro-blog, and also autopost that to several other services at the same time.
Here are some of the services it allows you to auto-post to.
- Twitter ( you can add multiple Twitter accounts )
- Facebook ( can have multiple profile, and pages )
- Google Buzz
- Google Buzz
The site offers a bookmarklet, as well as extensions for Firefox and Chrome. I personally prefer the bookmarklet for my sharing needs.
What’s Good About Amplify?
- As mentioned above, you can autopost to several other networks at the same time.
- You can clip text and images from the page and then share it.
- It allows you to schedule your messages.
- You can share via email. They provide you with an email address which you can email to. You could also specify in the email the services you’d like to autopost to.
- Post long status updates…longer than 140 characters.
- Connect with other users on Amplify.
- Whatever you share across various services get curated on your micro-blog.
Getting Started With Amplify
To get started, you could sign up with them for a free account. You may also use your Facebook or Twitter account to register. After that, it’ll ask you to create your Amplify micro-blog.
Next time you’re on a webpage you want to share, you can click on this bookmarklet, or the Amplify icon in your add-ons toolbar to get started with the sharing.
Using Amplify to Share Across the Web
I decided to try this with the jolicloud dual boot guide we published recently. Clicking on the bookmarklet presented me with 4 options – clip this page, share this URL, write a post and microblog.
Clip this page is self-explanatory. It allows you to select a portion of the webpage for sharing, instead of the entire site.
Write a post option allows you to write a full-fledged blog post and publish it on your Amplify blog.
Now, lets focus on the Share this URL part. And then we will take up microblog. When I clicked on share this URL, I was directed to the following page.
As you can see, there are options to modify title, description and the link. You could either link the post to its original page, or to your Amplify post page.
On the right, there are all those autopost options we were talking about. Lets take a closer look at them.
Here you can enable the services you’d like to autopost to. It also lets you add multiple profiles and even different Facebook pages. Like, in the screenshot below, you can see that I have added the Facebook pages of all the GT Network site.
There’s also the schedule for later option which I find particularly useful.
Finally, after enabling and checking the services I wanted to autopost to, I went on and hit the Amplify it button.
It directed me to my Amplify site where I could find the URL posted.
The posts also appeared on the respective social networks without any problems.
That’s how you could easily share what you want to share across multiple social sites productively.
The microblog option is also cool. If you were to click on microblog in the sharing options menu, it will lead you to a page that has a tweet-like box to for typing a status update.
And here, the status update can be more than 140 characters. If you post it on Twitter, the tweet would have the URL to your complete status message on your Amplify blog. You could also quickly customize the autopost options for each of your status messages.
Sharing Via Email
You can also post to Amplify via email. On your Amplify dashboard, under tools, you’ll find a post by emailoption. Clicking on that takes you to a page which shows the email address assigned for your posts. You can send emails to that address and have stuff posted on your Amplify blog, and subsequently autoposted on other sites.
There are ways to customize the email posting. For example, if you just want to autopost to Twitter, you can write Autopost Twitter in the first line of the email. If there are multiple Twitter accounts, it can be Autpost Twitter1, Autpost Twitter2.
All those instructions are given on that post by email page.
Apart from all the aforementioned features, there are options like connecting your Google Analytics account to view stats (stats are available otherwise too), mobile clipping on iPhone and Android, ability to send direct messages to fellow Amplify users just like you do on Twitter and an option to edit your clip/post.
Overall, I found Amplify to be impressive. I have already started using Amplify, and will continue to use it for the next few days to check the overall effect it has on my social sharing productivity. While I’ll continue to use a Twitter client, and continue posting through Facebook’s main interface, I think I’ll be using this tool primarily for sharing the random (and cool) pages I come across on the web every day.
I’d love to know how you liked the tool. Check it out and see if it works for you. And let us know how it went. The comments section awaits your feedback.