June 14, 2008 |
Two events this week are conspiring to ferment a theory. Unlike Louis Gray or Robert Scoble or even that traitor Duncan Riley, I still don't like FriendFeed, and I definitely don't think it's the next Google. But I've grudgingly grown to accept that FriendFeed is the Pet Rock of the early adopter set, and if you want to see and be seen, you need to be there.
A little over a week ago, FriendFeed added "personalized recommendations," three links accessible on the web site that allow users to see content currently enjoying popularity among the people they follow. In other words, FriendFeed has become users' own personal Techmeme, and that's noted by Duncan Riley's new feature that he's calling Qmeme, which features popular items in his circle of followers. In other words, you can see what's popular on Techmeme, or you can see what's popular in Duncan's realm, and I'd be surprised if other A-listers didn't follow his lead and start publishing their own meme lists.
The second curiosity popped up during a vanity search on Google; I finally made the front page for my first name. The surprise was that the search result was my FriendFeed page. Even my Twitter account, which I've had longer and used far more, didn't turn up until page two. The rational explanation is the sheer number of inbound and outbound links FriendFeed generates, which rack up to an impressive amount of Google Juice.
I argued just a few weeks ago that FriendFeed wasn't providing a great deal of incoming traffic to Profy, but it's definitely improved since then. It's still nowhere near to getting the traffic that StumbleUpon brings, but it's currently the top result in "links from an external site not otherwise covered under search engines." How much of that status is because of FriendFeed's Google Juice I'm not sure, but we'll enjoy it while it's there.
Filled with ex-Googlers, the question remaining is how long Google will let FriendFeed enjoy their current Juice before dumping it into whatever bin they reserve for aggregators. Or will FriendFeed's pedigree give them dispensation?