July 02, 2008 |
It is no surprise that once the blogosphere finds a fascination in something, more and more people will see this as an inspiration to create mashups based on our latest and greatest tools. And since FriendFeed is still one of the most discussed topics (especially on FriendFeed itself), it is no wonder that we will see more and more mashups in the coming weeks (or maybe months even, not sure about years).
Today's find is FriendFeed Spy – a nice little mashup launched minutes ago that allows you to track various FriendFeed activities in real time (posted items only, not comments or likes). A very typical Web 2.0 logo and no real miracles here – it simply shows you a constantly updated (without you hitting the update button again and again) timeline of everything that is published on FriendFeed. So same as you watch Digg Spy to see what's going on there, you can relax and watch what's happening on FriendFeed in the same manner. The mashup has been coded by Michele Marcucci who already has Twitter Spy on his record.
No login is required to watch but if you want to interact with some items on the timeline, you will need to authorize the tool by providing it with your FriendFeed login details. Once done, the content will also receive the usual likes and comments functionality for all the items that arrive to the timeline.
Honestly, I myself find watching the timeline a little terrifying since so many new items are published and everything is shifted down the page constantly. Actually the content is aggregated to the timeline randomly so you don't see absolutely everything that's going on (because this would have been completely crazy, I'm sure). But still fresh content appears every few seconds so it takes pausing functionality if you want to actually pay attention to any particular item – this is done on mouseover which allows you to click through to the item or leave a comment.
Right now FriendFeed Spy does not offer lots of filtering – you can choose the types of content you want to see (like bookmarks from various social bookmarking services only or shares in Google Reader) but you can not spy on your friends only (though this functionality is promised to be added in the future).
The only conclusion I can draw is that this tool can be very addictive and a real waste of time. But actually I see that it could be useful to some FriendFeed users looking to build some presence without any hint on where to start – watching the content for half an hour and interacting with it will definitely show some people with similar interests you may follow and it will also allow you to initiate discussions around new items. So maybe not a complete waste of time for those not heavily buried in FriendFeed yet but willing to be as soon as possible.