A Requiem for FriendFeed

You might not have even heard of FriendFeed before yesterday’s announcement that Facebook had bought it. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty big deal for us rockstar bloggers — if you don’t consider yourself a rockstar blogger please move along now. 😉

Of course I’m kidding — read on and see what the all fuss is about…

FriendFeed was my first experience with what social media experts call a lifestream — an extremely ghey-tarded moniker for the evolution of longform blogging. The idea is that if you’re active on a bunch of different sites like Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, Twitter, etc. you can use FriendFeed as a central hub to collect your goings-on at those different places.

Crucial for me was the FriendFeed widget — it looks like this:

View my FriendFeed

An even better version of the widget currently lives used to live at www.andrewcurrie.ca — my domain for the past ten years. I’ve been blogging here at WordPress.com since 2006 and honestly didn’t know what to do with my old home page, but FriendFeed brought it back from the dead and gave this blog a run for its money. That is, until yesterday’s news.

It’s a definite coup for Facebook, as that social network definitely needs a better search engine if nothing else. But for FriendFeed fans it’s a different story, as the future of their social network is very unclear. In fact, the best we could get is this rather empty promise from one of FriendFeed’s founders:

Obviously I can’t provide a lot of detailed plans and guarantees, but I can tell you that I’ll do my personal best to ensure that the FriendFeed users and community are treated right. I love this product too, and don’t want to see it disappear.

So what’s a rockstar blogger to do?

A lot of FriendFeed refugees are heading over to use another service called Posterous. I’ve just started using it myself and can only describe it as the opposite of FriendFeed — whereas the latter acts as an inbox for your breadcrumbs scattered all over the web, Posterous sends content to multiple sights and services automatically from a single point.

I’ll have more to say as I get up to speed with Posterous. It may end up being an interim solution for something more like FriendFeed, but as for FriendFeed itself I’m moving on.

What I’ll miss:

  • The widget!
  • The mobile site — as far as I know Posterous doesn’t have one.
  • Autoposting to Twitter et al from Google Reader for Mobiles on Opera Mini — sharing worthy links is a big part of what I do on the internets, and the killer combo of Google Reader for Mobiles and Opera Mini saved me from the bookmarklet kludge for Opera Mini that Dennis Bournique tried to teach me (and I still don’t quite get).

And not so much:

  • The friends — I did subscribe to a few notable users but really, I was only there for the widget.
  • (and speaking of virtual friends) Robert Scoble, specifically — this consummate early adopter and influencer was from the start a champion and community-builder for FriendFeed; unfortunately his ignorance and arrogance on at least one topic make me wonder how much forethought goes into some of the stuff he writes.

By Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?

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