Recently I've been wondering if "cross posting" is good, evil or just another tool.
I guess maybe there are probably two different classifications for which the same word is used. I think it's fine if a few people want to collaborate on a site and cross post SOME of their entries. For example I post about Japan and about games and game development so if some of my entries made it on a shared site about Japan or a shared site about games that seems okay to me.
On the other hand, lately I've noticed a tread among my several of my friends to run mulitple blogs all with exactly the same content. They sign up at blogger.com, msn spaces, xanga, live journal etc and might also run an MT or WP blog and they feel compelled to post all their entries to all of them. I feel like that is almost wrong. While obviously it's not like an actual crime, taken to the extreme people would sign up for thousands of sites and post the same stuff to all of them which would arguably cause some problems for search engines as well as just clutter the net more than it is. It's almost like spaming the net with your opinions and it seems like it could escalate. The guy that has 100 copies of his blog is more likely to have more "voice" than the guy that has 1, everything else being equal so there would be pressure to run as many as possible.
It's not just that finding your post on the net several times might muck up with page rankings, it's also cluttering the net. A search engine needs to crawl the entire net to index the info that's out there. For every person that has multiple copies of their blog up it's got to scan their posts once for each blog meaning it will take longer for it to crawl everything meaning it will get harder and harder to keep up all because some people feels the need to shout. This is the NET. A simple link from your MSN spaces profile to your main website is all you need. It saves you time (only having to post once). It saves the net from clutter. It's not like your asking people to drive to another store. It's also better for you. Having 9 people link to one individual post of yours is ranked higher by most search engines than having 9 people link, 3 each, to 3 difference sites you are on.
As I was thinking about this I showed someone that does this my new blog posting software I've been working on and the first feature he requested was cross positing since he always posts to 3 or 4 blogs. As I was designing it, including the ability, per blog, to tell it where the images are stored, I started thinking maybe I shouldn't be putting this feature in as it only encourages what I consider bad behavior. If I leave it without that feature you can still click "publish" for each blog. If I put that feature in it will only encourage having as many blogs as possible because with one click you'll be able to spam your opinion on as many blogs as you have in your list.
Does anyone have any opinions or read any good articles pro or con about this phenomenon?