Tag Archives: aggregators

friendfeed or social thing? or are lifestreams a waste of time?

Friendfeed and socialthing are both lifestream aggregators. They pull in your information stored across multiple services on the internet into one place. You can then use those aggregators not just for your information but also to follow the lifestreams of others.

Louis Gray believes that friendfeed should win because of one key feature – its ability to build a community or network by allowing users to comment on items posted inside friendfeed.

Muhammad Saleem believes that SocialThing’s ability to allow users to comment outside socialthing inside the external service is the better solution.

I have not yet seen SocialThing (it is in private beta) – but it strikes me that SocialThing’s methodology is the way to do things provided you can still see the conversation inside socialthing.

Of course, Duncan Riley of Techcrunch thought that Friendfeed is just another lifestream aggregator (compared to Plaxo Pulse, Tumblr, Spokeo, Second Brain, SocialThing and Iminta) and that why would you even want to republish Twitter and Google Reader shared items. Can’t you just go to their sites?

I think right now they are all much of a muchness in comparison with each other. Friendfeed does have the ability to connect to 30 other services online and a huge following, SocialThing has a lot less services and even less of a following. I completely disagree with Duncan on the lack of need to republish.

My view is that these lifestream aggregators have huge potential for consumer benefit online. It could become the platform for web services, allowing users to choose their favourite photo/video/blog/whatever provider whilst not forcing their friends to sign up or worse visit lots of different sites to see them all. Duncan makes a valid point though about Twitter, its very nature means it takes up a huge portion of the overall feed. What I would like to see is the ability to separate items into different areas so I can follow people’s Twitters in one area, photos in another and blog posts/interesting items somewhere else. ie customizability of the lifestream.

louis gray and friendfeed

I have been a reader of Louis Gray’s blog and his Google Reader shared items for a while now and I think he is straying into the territory that Scoble used to drift into when he was at Microsoft. Namely, tunnel vision on one topic. Lous’ shared items is one huge mass of Friendfeed coverage, whilst his blog has been mentioning it in a majority of recent posts. It is starting to get a tad boring.. you like friendfeed I get it! What I don’t understand is why cover them so much? Is there some connection between Louis and friendfeed? Is this just a way of giving Louis Gray some attention? Or is it just a great service that incites this sort of coverage?

Some thoughts on Friendfeed coming up shortly..

why have a blog?

In a previous post I said: over time things are slowly being removed from my blog and into facebook. Personal photo albums have gone, and it cant be long before video, books and last.fm disappear leaving my blog much more focussed on what it does best – delivering personal (or other’s) commentary. It’s slowly becoming less and less of a black hole for information about the author.

A couple of friends asked me why I didn’t move all content creation entirely into facebook?

I initially thought this was an easy one to answer – I import my posts into facebook as there is an audience there but that it was a closed environment. For it to be suitable, I needed to be able to deliver the content back out into aggregators using RSS. Except it turned out Facebook had this capability. You can see it here.

So why not use Facebook?

It came down to not feeling like the correct place – Facebook feels like a more personal arena – not really a place for business orientated content. I wonder if Facebook can make that perception change? Would I move then? Well they would need to be searchable on the open web – and I would want to be able to control layout more. Wouldn’t Facebook just turn into a proprietary version of the web if all that happened? That wouldn’t make sense to do, right? We already have one of those..