Mainstreaming of FriendFeed

I think FriendFeed is pretty cool, but I still don’t know why it’s a must have. So it aggregates a wide range of social networks and media to present a social feed… but why should you or anyone else care? What value is this creating in my life? But none of this is stopping the cheering section from declaring FriendFeed the winner in social network feeds before a market has been defined.

FriendFeed has been described by different folks as a social Web lifestream, by others a Web services aggregator, or as a conversational platform. But it’s not just one of these things – it’s all of these things. There are a definitely a wide number of sites out there that let you share all your activity in one place, or to track friends’ activity, but FriendFeed is the only one that lets you share items directly to the feed, elevate discussions through comments and show “likes” to highlight individual posts.

[From Duncan Riley Misses the Point of FriendFeed: Silicon Valley Blog]

Adam Ostrow says that FriendFeed has crossed the chasm. No offense to Adam, but that statement is so patently absurd on it’s face that it rises to the level of being preposterous.

First and foremost, the only people that are connecting to me on FriendFeed are the same people that connected with me on Facebook last year and the same people who are on Twitter and the same people who connect to me on every shiny new toy I try out. FriendFeed can’t even see the bridge to cross the chasm, it certainly hasn’t crossed it yet.

Adam says that they are collecting gobs of data about what we do, but I say that doesn’t mean the data is commercially viable or even commercially accessible (witness Beacon). Just having data doesn’t mean shit, you are no closer to defining a service that can be delivered to an economic buyer than not having the data at all, in other words just having the data doesn’t mean you have the right data.

But in the end the biggest failing of FriendFeed is that it’s like standing in a very crowded room with everyone shouting at you, there’s no sense of proportionality or authority that helps define what I should be paying attention to.

I still think it’s pretty cool.

2 thoughts on Mainstreaming of FriendFeed

  1. Jeff: Great post. I completely agree. I’ve often commented that I’m a bit social’d out with the emergence of all these new, shiny applications. I, too, think FriendFeed is pretty cool. And it is useful to aggregate all of the sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr etc in one place.

    However, I agree with your points, the people out there are the same people I’m following in their blogs via RSS in my reader or their twitter streams. And the real interesting thing is most of those people are top bloggers, host their own installs and have a very robust site that packages up all of their streams anyway in their sidebars.

    So in all this is just bundling it up nicely. There is a long way to go in extracting commercial value from the data. And quite honestly, anyone can be competitive there and do that just by pulling the RSS feeds in from various locations.

    Time will tell as always. In the meantime, I have yet another site to look into and see who is connecting with me and who I would like to connect with.

    And finally, why do I continue to want to call this new toy FeedFriend?

  2. I totally concur with you on this one, specifically with your comment about standing in a room and getting shouted at from all sides. I am reaching my saturation point when it comes to social networks. Although I enjoy the interaction via Facebook, Twitter, etc. I am getting frustrated by the “emptiness” of it all. It’s so much more fulfilling to simply go out and grab a beer with someone. That’s social networking at its finest. Social networks are so far away from this and are becoming ever more like going to that bar alone without knowing anyone there. You can work hard at meeting people and deriving value, but it’s just too much work.

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