One Leg Off the FriendFeed Bandwagon

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.

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  • Mia

    I totally see your point. I have mixed feelings about it. I love it, I’ve added it to Facebook and it’s been great (so far) but it is a lot of information overload.
    If Friendfeed were to add filtering options to let me choose which activity feeds should be reported (like Facebook does) it would be much more manageable and a very powerful aggregation tool.

  • Geoff

    I’m with you Mark. I’ve been fooling with it for a few weeks now, and am about ready to give up.

    Don’t remember where I saw this, but I thought the description was appropriate when the writer referred to FF as a “noise aggregator”.

  • engtech

    Hi guys,

    FriendFeed does have those filtering options. Click the “Hide” button, you can hide

    - just that entry
    - just that service for that user
    - that entire service

    Under the “More” link you can unsubscribe from the user.

  • Tris Hussey

    Count me in Mark. I just don’t find it extremely useful. There is just too much coming in to be able to get to the good stuff. If I really want to follow all the things a person does, I’m going to find ways to make sure I can pay attention to all those places.

  • Louis Gray

    I’ll “absolutely, positively” you in a second. :-)

  • Cyndy Aleo-Carreira

    I can’t bring myself to use it. I dread seeing the update. It’s just too much noise and one more thing I don’t have time to keep track of.

    @Louis I’m honestly starting to wonder if they are paying you to cheerlead for them. I might like it more if they are giving out cool pom-poms.