Now the idea of a lifestream is to bunch all your profiles and content into one place, but even just as much fun is that you can add friends who are doing the same thing, basically a friendstream, and not only that but you can discuss the web with your social filter.
This is really the winning feature, up until now I use web 2.0 to subscribe to my trusted social filter (people who publish and point to stuff), now I’m extending that by discussing with them, but not in a scattered way, instead these discussions are all on the one Friendfeed site.
Like only a few other lifestream services you can add imaginary friends, and Friendfeed also recommends friends and has statistics.
Now this leaving comments brings up Duncan Riley’s point, why would I leave a comment on a blog post or a Twitter post within Friendfeed, why wouldn’t I just do it at the native service.
Now I tend to agree to an extent as I’d like comments to my blog post on my blog, but according to the podcast on Read/Write Talk there is a subtle difference. This is a way for you, your friends, and their friends to comment on stuff, you will not see comments by other people who are not connected to your extended network.
So it’s a quality discussion limited to people in your network, this sort of thing doesn’t happen on blogs
eg. imagine you could filter all the comments on TechCrunch to just your friendfeed friends, see more at the Lifestream blog.
But is this really unique, you have this same functionality at Jaiku.
Mugshot and especially their groups feature has this down to an art, but they are going down the group member road, whereas Friendfeed is doing it via your network…Mugshot has plenty of other features like swarming, chat, share link, externals feeds, etc…
A real difference with Friendfeed to other lifestream services is that comments are not linear.
eg. on Jaiku when there is a new comment it appears underneath the item being commented on, but it also becomes a new post of it’s own.
Friendfeeds approach is for comments to not be a post of their own, but to only be threaded underneath the item.
So how do you know when there is a discussion around an item that is a day old and has rolled of the page?
Well, it doesn’t roll off the page…sure Friendfeed is a river of news of recent items, but if an older item is being commented on it moves back up the river, so it’s on the front page where you can see it.
The idea here is that these discussed items are popular and the discussion needs to be seen, it won’t pass you by.
In Jaiku you can be updated with recent comments in a discussion, but the discussion is not promoted, in fact if you miss it, it will pass you by, whereas Friendfeed tries to keep conversations visible (on the frontpage)
Basically, if you are tracking discussion you never have to leave the front page of either your “friends” tab or “me” tab. Heavily discussed items on both these tabs will always be on the front page, this is very much in contrast to the linear approaches we have seen so far. In fact this could make it a “hot news” ranked page based on comments and voting, so it’s kind of in TechMeme, Twitter, Digg territory.
Only thing I forsee is if this site becomes the discussion, where most items are discussed, then when I login, I indeed may have to go 5 pages back to see all the days hot discussions. I’m sure in the future they will a separate stream or tab for ultra hot discussions.
But is this exhaustive enough to make sure you have tracked every comment people make on your items. The Fast Wonder blog has a solution to create a feed of comments made to your stuff on Friendfeed.
Hmmm…the settings page says “Send me email when people comment on my feed and I haven’t logged in recently”
And now they have search, which I see is kind of competing with my Google Reader search, as I can search just me, or my friends…or as TechCrunch say a “destination site”.
If “Tibet” is the news of the day, I can search my friends to see who is talking about it.
In Google Reader I’m most likely just subscribed to their blog feed, but here I’m subscribed to all their stuff.
The advanced search enables you to search just one person, and even filtered by service…this is awesome.
Hang on, this isn’t full-text search, but it’s still good…and it generates an RSS feed.
NOTE: I couldn’t do without Google Reader
Icons, filters, full-text, bi-directional
Another good feature is that you have a view for all posts you have commented on.
I’d like another view for my items people have commented on, I know these will be on the front page, but once there are no subsequent comments, they roll of the page. But I guess on my own blog I can’t filter to see only posts that have been commented on…in the meantime we can use the hack linked (Fast Wonder blog) to above.
Next to each item is an icon from the service it was originally published on, if you click this you can see just content from that service.
So if you are on your “friends” tab, and see an item from Twitter and click the Twitter icon, you will now only see Twitter items from all your friends…this is almost like being on Twitter.
Should Friendfeed be a two way thing, where you can post a comment back to appear on the original service…and at the time of commenting have the option to, “comment just here”, or “comment here and the original”.
[UPDATE 26/03/08: Just in…when commenting on a Twitter feed, you can send it to Twitter as a reply]
Another thing Duncan Riley mentioned was that to actually read blog posts you have to go to the original source, then come back to Friendfeed to leave a comment. Once I go to the original blog post, I’d probably comment then and there, so I think Friendfeed needs to work out a way to keep you from leaving. Perhaps they could do like Ask/Bloglines search where the full-text of an item displays when you hover over it.
Getting back to the icon view, eg. just see Twitter posts from your friends, I wish there was a list of these icons on the sidebar ie. a list of icons of all the services your friends use…more easier like Spokeo.
I’d like this for me as well, but the icon list representing all the services I use will launch to the native service when you click
…and where is an “FF” icon for my inhouse friendfeed posts.
Another thing is that I’m adding my Twixtr photo blog feed and my LibraryThing feed using the blog feed icon, this means if I filter a search with this icon I will get more than just my blog posts…darn.
I really like how it collapses items, so the stream is less congested, this is all part of the pleasant user experience.
You can also reduce the noise by hiding a service from a given user, meaning if you do not want to see userA’s flickr photo’s, you can turn that off, see more.
I’d like to do that for my whole Friends stream, ie. turn off the Flickr service from all my friends. There is a hack available to do this sort of thing for the moment , eg. Friendfeed minus Twitter.
But what about duplicate items?
- my del.icio.us links are in my blog feed (via Feedburner)
- my del.icio.us links are in my Twitter feed only because my blog feed is in my Twitter feed (via Twitterfeed)
- some items I share in Google Reader, I also bookmark in del.icio.us
So you see what’s happening here, if I add my:
- del.icio.us feed
- Google Reader Shared Items feed
- Blog feed
- Twitter feed
You will see an item I bookmark in del.icio.us appear in my Friendfeed 4 times.
You will see my blog posts appear 2 times.
There must be a way for Friendfeed to de-dupe URL’s or titles.
This could become a lifestream social network like Ziki where you can private message friends…public message would be good as well (also the ability to share or push an item to a friend).
If they want people to live in Friendfeed, I’m guessing in the future they would add ways to contact people, just like Ziki allows you to add sidebar links or widgets:
- GTalk me
- Jaxtr me, etc..
Why not go the whole way and have people tags.
But let’s not get excited as Friendfeed may want to keep it simple, as simple is the reason why people like del.icio.us, Google, and Twitter.
Only thing is I can’t post or comment on my phone…when is Friendfeed mobile coming!!
Steve Rubel also has a post on using the Imaginary friends (private feature) and as an ego aggregator of sorts. You could use this feature to subscribe to all your Friendfeed searches, kind of like an inhouse watchlist.
Lifestream blog has picked up on a way to subscribe to a friends comments and likes, but it seems this is now a feature, you can go to a profile and get a feed for a friends likes, comments or both.
The Facebook app is full featured, very nice…not sure if there is a general widget yet.
I wonder if it may include a newsfeed type feature where it tells you when a friend adds a new friend, it already displays when a friend comments or votes something.
What exactly is friendfeed?
- Personalised Memedigger/Breaking news based around my OPML (social filter and extended network)…the search feature is great for hot topics
(will we soon see blog post footer buttons saying “Share on friendfeed”)
- Conversational Web (based around my social filter)
- Identity page
- Expert locator (if it added people tags)
I’m getting the feeling due to the comments feature that friendfeed is reminding me of the immediacy of Twitter conversations, but friendfeed discussions are more in context of an object.
Is Friendfeed going to cut the lunch of the new breed of social network RSS Readers like FeedEachOther?
I’ve been wanting Google Reader to be a social network, but now Friendfeed is just that and more, just wish you could fwd or share a link with another Friendfeed friend.
Google Reader is still my tool for essential reading, but Friendfeed may become the new conversation and recommendation/discovery place…to complement Twitter, and in a way to achieve what I hoped would happen on Facebook, ie. an aggregated conversation and link sharing social network.
I like this quote by AVC, as a result of a new place to see comments on his stuff and other conversations:
“…an aggregator of attention to a demander of attention”
The essence of Friendfeed:
“FriendFeed is for community discussion surrounding the social web”