May 02, 2008 |
Poor Louis. He may end up sorry that he ever raised his FriendFeed pompoms toward me. I’ve spent the past two days crawling all over FriendFeed to give it the chance that I never did. I added it to Twhirl so I could follow the updates during the day.
The truth is that I now detest it even more than I did before, but it’s for different reasons.
My initial impression (and complaint) back when I first reviewed FriendFeed was that it was terrible for bloggers mainly because it moved the conversation off the blogs and onto the service. After really giving it my all the past couple of days, I’ve come to a sad realization: there’s a game to FriendFeed that’s every bit as pervasive as those on sites like Digg. And people may not even realize that they are doing it.
When I interviewed Ben Golub yesterday, he told me that RSSmeme crawls FriendFeed via the API to see what people are sharing on Google Reader. I would guess that Techmeme uses at least some of that same data via either FriendFeed or directly from Google Reader. It’s here where the sharing in Google Reader becomes just like a Digg; one person in your circle shares the item, then others do. Some comment on it. Others additionally submit it to Digg and StumbleUpon. And suddenly, you have the same echo chamber effect in FriendFeed that you see on Techmeme.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that these aren’t quality posts. But when I log into FriendFeed and I see 10 people in my circle sharing the same article that was also sent to Twitter via either manual Tweet or autobot as well as sent to Digg by several people, and then sent to StumbleUpon by several people, I realized I was seeing the same links time and time again. It’s not getting me more information; it’s slowing me down, and it’s doing less aggregating than it is promoting.
I’ve come to the realization that FriendFeed isn’t for me. I don’t use Google Reader, finding it kludgy and limiting, and I don’t have time to sift through all the cross-promotion of posts to find the few gems I may otherwise have missed in there. It isn’t even the “Twitter with bookmarks” that Alexander van Elsas called it. He was more correct when he said it was competition for Techmeme. It essentially IS Techmeme, only not as concise.