Ever since FriendFeed burst out of nowhere and became the new “It” thing for bloggers and geeks, I’ve been of two minds about it.
On one hand, the concept of having all your social activity collected in one place seems pretty convenient and useful. On the other hand, I find FriendFeed to be somewhat overwhelming because there’s so much data/information there about what you and other people are doing. As much as I want to really like FriendFeed, it’s been difficult to truly embrace it because it strikes me as wanting to be all social things to all people.
This thesis was something I bounced off a few friends to see whether it was on the mark. Their answers were, not surprisingly, mixed. Some love it while others don’t get it. Then, I read Alexander van Elsas’s post on his issues with FriendFeed that show there’s at least one other people thinking along the same lines. You should definitely read the post but Alexander’s major point is that FriendFeed lacks “intention” – everything is automatically compiled there there as opposed to being directly done, or intended, by the user.
For me, FriendFeed is meeting a need that I don’t need met. Sure, it’s great to have all your social tools aggregated in one place but is it really that much more convenient and/or user-friendly than simply visiting three or four of your go-to services, which, in my case, are Google Reader, Twitter and Adium? When I think of FriendFeed, this insightful post by How to Split an Atom on what question does your product answer comes to mind for some reason.
For many people, FriendFeed is social nirvana but as much as it should probably resonate more, I’m just not lovin’ it. Call me fickle, disloyal, naive or ignorant but FriendFeed may be one cool service that passes me by.
Update: For some thoughts on someone who absolutely, positively loves FriendFeed, check out Louis Gray.