FriendFeed And Intention
Alexander van Elsas wrote a good critique of FriendFeed which I think I’ll comment on. He says a lot of the activity lacks “intention” making it harder to separate “signal from noise.” The end result is when all your friends’ activity loads up in one feed there is no value added to the information, leaving you to through the data overload. This is opposed to a message crafted directly to you. Good point.
Perhaps I use FriendFeed differently, but all the services I have given FriendFeed permission to track do have an intent to share. I have my blog, Twitter, Disqus comments, Reddit, and Google Reader. Every time I make an action on any of those sites, I am thinking about the public nature and want the message to be read by anyone. So as far as I’m concerned, I feel “intent” is there.
This is opposed to what I don’t share. I don’t broadcast my Google web browsing history, I don’t have a “lifestream” in the form of a web cam strapped to my head that is broadcasting all day to FriendFeed, I don’t have my Amazon shopping history keyed in. About 1% of my life is on FriendFeed and about 10% of my web activity.
Now I can see how adding that 1% up over say, twenty friends, would make for a very noisy FriendFeed, so perhaps it would be good to employ some filters on your end, like “unfriending” the noisy people who are sharing too much, or the filter by service feature that was recently added (read this writeup by Louis Gray).
Anyhow, it’s great to see people discussing the pros and cons of FriendFeed. So far I’ve found the signal to noise ratio acceptable. My bigger worry is that over time, as more mainstream users start using the service, the value will drop significantly as we get more “friends” on board that use it to push stuff *spam*. But until then, I’ll continue to use and recommend FriendFeed.