FriendFeed in Plain English: It’s About Community

Today while going through FriendFeed, I noticed that Duncan Riley posted the following comment for the FriendFeed masses to both ponder and answer:

Louis Gray says I’m wrong on Friendfeed, yet 62% of TC readers don’t get friendfeed either, with 17% undecided. Who’s wrong exactly? :-)

Call It A Truce (For Now)

No one’s really right or wrong about the whole ordeal. Everyone has their opinions and everyone is entitled to them. However, Riley, I think you’re still missing the point and I’d suggest you take Ontario Emperor’s suggestion to your comment and revisit the topic a little later. In fact, how about actively participating in discussions on FriendFeed instead of simply watching from the sidelines, which numerous have reported you’ve done?

My Response On FriendFeed

I still think Duncan’s wrong. Duncan’s wrong for entirely different reasons than those who answered his poll. Based on his "test" of the service, everyone who’s actively participated on FriendFeed can understand exactly why he doesn’t get it: He didn’t TRY to get it. He just watched from the sidelines! No one can say the same for the poll results. – Corvida

To elaborate, FriendFeed’s service is so wonderful because of what it allows to take place. It hasn’t done anything new. It hasn’t been particularly innovative in any of it’s features in any way, shape, or form. No one is denying that. Understand that first and foremost.

It’s About Community

The immense amount of enthusiasm behind FriendFeed is because of the community that you can build around the things that you and others share. This is one of the few services I’ve seen released that has such an active community behind it. Those that "get it" are most likely among the most active users on FriendFeed and there’s a lot of them! This is what makes it so special. You can almost expect a response to the things you share and an (usually) intelligent one at that. I’ve seen an exceptional number of comments on several shared items not only from myself, but from friends AND friends of friends! This is the beauty of FriendFeed: the amazing amount of activity. People want to participate and therefore, do!

FriendFeed, Twitter, And Blogs

Duncan goes on to say in his article "FriendFeed is This Years Twitter, But Why?":

If most of the content on a FriendFeed is pulled from Twitter, wouldn’t discussing the points on Twitter be the logical outcome for the majority of people? Blog posts get comments on FriendFeed as well, but how rich an experience is a comment thread based on a headline with a link? As a publisher, wouldn’t you want people to hold these discussions on your blog?

Actually, some of those discussion don’t come back to Twitter. In fact, I’ve seen many discussions move from Twitter and on to FriendFeed. As for the experience of commenting on a "link" on FriendFeed, it’s very rich! I’ve seen more comments about some of my stories on FriendFeed more than on SheGeeks itself. Yes, I would like these discussions to be held on my blog. However, there’s a unique twist to answering this question. With FriendFeed, the comments are way more personal and the author’s response to any of these comments is almost guaranteed to be heard by those who have commented on the story or simply lurking in the shadows. Think about it for a second: how many times have you commented on a blog and not gone back to see if there was a reply? Too many I’m sure. Sure you could subscribe to the comments (if possible), but you may see more replies than you care for. Then there’s the hassle of unsubscribing when the subject is no longer relevant. On FriendFeed, eventually the article will just become buried treasure while more relevant information rises to the surface. Or, once your question is answered you can simply move on to the next item by scrolling down. I think this beats receiving and deleting emails for every response that’s given on a thread that you subscribe to.

Riley should’ve known better than to "test" FriendFeed for a measly day to try to understand it. Some services won’t always feed to our lazy habits of automatically spelling things out for us. Twittered showed us that. Quite a few people were slow to catch on to it, myself included. FriendFeed is expanding on it (imho), but by no means perfectly. Every service has it’s flaws. No one’s hailing FriendFeed as the perfect service. It just works for some of us and it works well all because of the active community that’s on it.

Technorati tags: Friendfeed, community, Duncan Riley, Louis Gray, Twitter
Corvida Raven

A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida Raven talks tech in plain English on SheGeeks.net.