How Would You Use FriendFeed?

James recently hooked me up with an invitation to FriendFeed. They offer a mega-feed of all your social media activity. It’s kind of a web-wide version of the Facebook news feed. For me, that amounts to these services:

FriendFeed Services

Those are my blog feed, bookmarks, Digg activity, Flickr photos, Google Reader shared items, ‘loved’ songs, Ma.gnolia bookmarks and StumbleUpon activity (they have a bunch of others, like Twitter and LinkedIn, that I don’t regularly use).

Holy crap. Who in their right mind would want to see all of that in one place? It’s my stuff, and I don’t even want to see it.

It’s telling that James sent me an invite for this service. We trade links back and forth quite regularly (James, here’s some live Weakerthans). We used to use Ma.gnolia to do this, but have since recognized that that’s just an extra step. We now rely on good old email.

Theoretically I might want to monitor James’s FriendFeed for stuff that interests me. Except, of course, most of what interests James probably won’t interest me. That’s true for any two people–there’s far more chaff than wheat. We filter the information that we send to each other, thereby imbuing those links with meaning. I don’t want the raw feed.

More Than I Signed Up For

I’ve got a related pet peeve about subscribing to blogs. Without mentioning it, a blogger will add to what was appearing in their RSS feed. They might, for example, add Flickr photos or bookmarks to their previous blog posts-only feed. This bugs me, because I’m no longer getting what I signed up for. I usually contact the blogger and request the pure blog post feed. Hopefully FriendFeed doesn’t exacerbate this problem.

When I think about FriendFeed, there are only two ways I would practically use it:

  • If FriendFeed or somebody else lays some clever filtering on top of my friend’s mega-feeds. To start with, how about a filter that shows me everything my friends tag as ‘fordarren’, regardless of what service it’s in?
  • If I wanted to stalk somebody, and collect the digital equivalent of every hair or scrap of skin they left behind.</li

How would you use FriendFeed? If you want an invite, let me know.


  1. FriendFeed is interesting, but seems like they’re just bringing to light what others have been going after for a little while, beginning with Spokeo. I can appreciate FriendFeed’s simplicity, but agree with your interest in clever filters. I’d love an invite if you’ve got one!

  2. It at least sounds like an interesting concept, if for nothing else that it would let me subscribe to a single feed of all the stuff that I put out in various places on the net, and hopefully allow me to find it when I need it.

    And if you’ve got a spare invite, it’d be very much appreciated.

  3. I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here – and you’ve brought up some great points that I haven’t even had a chance to consider yet. That all said, I just added a “digg this” link to every blog post after my most recent blog entry got dugg and I had a small increase in traffic. From what I gather, most of my readers do not use digg (yet) – but obviously the intent of digg is for people who do not already read you to read you, so I have surmised that asking ones readership if they use tech that pulls new readership to a website might be slightly useless. It is tempting to add a link as well but I do not have a good understanding of how it works yet. (Something about bookmarks?) More research..

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