Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I'm going to briefly evangelize.

Remember when you first got on Twitter, and it seemed kind of lame because you were only following two people or something? Sure you do. You couldn't figure out what the point was — it seemed like a waste of time. But now you're following dozens of people, and you get that Twitter groove going where if you want to, you can plug into the stream and ride it. And it's still, in most ways, a waste of time, but it's also a useful way to keep up with friends, a nifty form of asymmetrical communication, and frankly a lot of fun. But you'd never know that for those first few days or weeks when you were getting a tweet a day about someone's cat or what they ate for lunch.

There is a relatively new player in the social networking field called FriendFeed. It is exactly what it sounds like. We're all familiar with the idea of a web feed that updates as new information comes in; Twitter is a feed. What FriendFeed does is aggregate all of your friends' feeds in one place. So if I've got a Twitter account, this blog, Flickr, YouTube, del.icio.us, last.fm, LinkedIn, Digg, and Google Reader shared items, rather than having to visit all of those sites to see what's new with me, you could subscribe to my FriendFeed and get them all in one place. It doesn't collect any information that isn't available publicly already, so there's no more or less privacy than you already have.

But FriendFeed is like Twitter in many ways. In fact, since FriendFeed includes Twitter, it's exactly like Twitter in at least one way. But it has that same problem where, if you've only got a handful of people on it, it seems kind of lame. Unlike with Twitter, though, it's easy to see FriendFeed's potential if only people would use it. You can make "imaginary friends" and add their various feeds manually, but that's a lot of work.

So get on there, people. I don't know if its going to catch on, but I like it.

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