Why I Like FriendFeed

What is FriendFeed?
FriendFeed is a web service that aggregates all your public online activity in one place. An update automatically appears in your FriendFeed whenever you blog, Digg a webpage, upload public photos to Flickr, or favorite a video on YouTube, etc. It’s simple to configure and has a nice, clean UI. My feed is here. You can also subscribe to other people’s feeds, as shown in this screenshot.

Why I like FriendFeed
I check FriendFeed 10-15 times/day and keep it permanently open in one of my browser tabs. I’m subscribed to 129 people and 440 people are subscribed to me (I’m not sure why so many people are subscribed to me, but I suspect the friend recommendation algorithm is biased towards early adopters of the product). I hardly use Facebook or Digg anymore, because FriendFeed has replaced them. The main reason I like Friendfeed is that it’s like Digg, Google Reader, and my Facebook news feed all rolled into one.

1) FriendFeed is like a more customized, more social version of Digg
FriendFeed helps me discover interesting new content on the web, just like Digg. But instead of getting recommendations from a random crowd of users who tend to be Mac fanboys and Ron Paultards, I get recommendations from friends, coworkers, and people with similar interests. For example, I get stories about Google from fellow Googlers like Evan; I get the latest industry news from tech bloggers like Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped and M.G. Siegler of Paris Lemon; I get funny animal stories from fellow funny animal lovers kang and muller. It’s like a social filter for interesting news, videos, and blogs. Also, there are no trolls in the FriendFeed comments, unlike Digg.

2) FriendFeed is a passive, non-annoying way of sharing cool content with friends
Sometimes I come across a funny YouTube video, but I’m not sure if it’s funny enough to email all my friends. I don’t want to clutter their inboxes with annoying spam. FriendFeed lets me passively share the link — all I have to do is favorite it on YouTube and it automatically appears in my feed. If my friends like it, they can let me know by clicking the “Like” link or by leaving a comment. I find that there’s often a lot of fun discussion going on in FriendFeed comments.

3) FriendFeed lets me keep track of friends I care about
I used to use my Facebook news feed for this purpose. But I found that as my number of Facebook friends increased, the relevancy/interestingness of my news feed decreased. Most of my 500+ Facebook friends are old classmates or work acquaintances, and although I know all of them personally, there are only a few people whose updates I really care about. Right now my Facebook news feed is showing me a bunch of app spam and some mobile photos from a coworker I haven’t talked to in 6 months. FriendFeed gives me better control over who shows up in my feed, and it’s not a social faux pas if I decide not to subscribe to someone.

4) FriendFeed lets me track people I find interesting but don’t know socially
I subscribe to a lot of people on FriendFeed who I don’t know personally, like friends-of-friends, interesting bloggers, or people who happen to often bookmark interesting things. I couldn’t do that on Facebook because Facebook is supposed to be for real-life friends.

If you aren’t using FriendFeed already, you should! If you create an account, let me know so I can subscribe to you.

2 comments ↓

#1 Youtube » Why I Like FriendFeed on 02.04.08 at 1:45 pm

[…] jessblog wrote an interesting post today on Why I Like FriendFeedHere’s a quick excerpt … ometimes I come across a funny YouTube video, but I’m not sure if it’s funny enough to email all my friends….An update automatically appears in your FriendFeed whenever you blog, Digg a webpage, upload public photos to Flickr, or favorite a video on YouTube, etc….FriendFeed lets me passively share the link — all I have to do is favorite it on YouTube and it automatically appears in my feed…. […]

#2 MG Siegler on 02.12.08 at 10:27 pm

Thanks for the shout-out Jess! Don’t think it didn’t go unnoticed the other day :)

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