Is FriendFeed all that?

In the post, How our digital lives are spreading out, Scoble dotes on FriendFeed and in a separate post said that his new blog design will be heavily influenced by FriendFeed, whatever that means. If he likes it any more, he would marry FriendFeed, talk about an unholy union. BTW, is Scoble migrating his online presence from his blog to FriendFeed an example of “Decentralized Me” or rather “Centralized Decentralized Me”?

All joking aside, his post got me thinking about whether FriendFeed is all that Scoble gushes about. I can see FriendFeed’s appeal for someone like him, a tech pundit and blogger with his own company fully immersed in the web 2.0 lifestyle doing a zillion things at one time. But what about your average user, Joe Blow, who enjoys watching the occasional video, rarely if ever posting a video, probably doesn’t have a blog, maybe has a MySpace or Facebook profile and well, generally not all that interesting to anyone else other than his friends and family. To which I say, Friendfeed isn’t really all that interesting to him, at least not in the same way as someone like Scoble.

The way I see it, services like FriendFeed and Twitter are particularly meaningful for someone who is well-known in his field, has a lot of followers / readers, and a desire to further extend his brand online. For the average user who doesn’t have much of an audience, it quickly becomes boring for him to friendfeed or twitter. However, the value of FriendFeed to an average user is keeping abreast of his favorite online personality activities. What say ye, FriendFeed and Twitter users.

BTW, how does Scoble keeps tab on 16,000 people? Talk about information overload.

Updated 4/4/2008
I must have been channeling Scoble when I wrote this post (or maybe I stole his speech for Next Web Conference) but here’s what Scoble said per Techcrunch post Live From the Next Web (2008): Day 2

Kicking things off is Robert Scoble, who is talking about the new digital divide: People with friends and people without friends. The old digital divide (rich versus poor) still exists. But the new digital divide is a consequence of how social software works. You have a better experience on Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, Upcoming or even Google Reader the more friends that you have. But if you don’t have any friends, the experience really sucks.

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4 Responses to “Is FriendFeed all that?”


  1. 1 Pat Hawks April 3, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Agreed 100%
    For someone who doesn’t have hundreds of followers on FriendFeed or Twitter, it feels like trying to shout into a black hole.

  2. 2 Mike Reynolds April 3, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Bob, nice to see you over on the DaPo/DP/DataPortability Skype groups/etc. I’ve been very busy at work and haven’t had any “spare” time lately.

    About the average internet user, at the very least I would say that there are perhaps 100 million to 200 million worldwide who have multiple social network memberships (assumes 10-20% of global users have multiple memberships). If we then further assume that only 10% of these have a significant presence on more than one site, then the net is 10-20M distributed-type users.

    While that is a lot (10-200M), the numbers really don’t matter now. Decentralization is occurring. Many kids today have both MySpace accounts and Facebook (once they hit high school or college). Not everyone is a Scoble, but one could argue that most people will use the internet in a social way and that no one site will cover all of their needs.

    Lastly, about Scoble and his 16,000 peeps, I personally believe that Scoble is really and audio-animatronic robot and that his brain is advanced form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) — with the current AI version limited mostly to short messages of 140 characters or less 🙂

  3. 3 Bill Bittner April 3, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Nothing is permanent. And nothing will be 100% all that. But I think FF is currently “all that” because it’s simple. And I believe simple things have more staying power than complex things. Look at your desktop for examples: Post-It notes, highlighters, and binder clips.

  4. 4 Bob Ngu April 3, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    @Pat, that’s a great line, trying to shout into a black hole, wish I thought of it.

    @Mike, nice to hear from you again, it’s been awhile. Yes, I am over at DaPo chats, etc quite a bit though more as an observer lately. Maybe Scoble is actually Lieutenant Commander Data (from Star Trek) in disguise.

    @Bill, agree on the simplicity bit. Although what’s simple to me may not be so simple to a Joe Blow who doesn’t know what a feed is.

    I noticed a trend lately, the best marketing ploy for your startup is to get someone like Scoble, Arrington, Winer, Wilson, etc to gush about it. In 2006/2007, it was Facebook, Twitter in 2007, now FriendFeed in 2008. With all the hype on FriendFeed now, it feels like Facebook and Twitter have jumped the shark?


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