Not because they pay me (they do not), and not because I get anything other than warm fuzzies from seeing a real-time feed cross my screen again. Rule both of those out right now.
I am pimping FriendFeed because they have just rolled out a revolution. And I like revolution. I especially like revolution that makes Twitter sit up and take notice. If Twitter isn’t sitting up and taking notice, they should, without question. Right now.
What FriendFeed is:
Friendfeed is lots of things. But in its simplest form, it is a central place to aggregate and then broadcast all the different things you do on the web. If you wanted to, you could set up an account, put all of your different web habitats in — your blog, your Flickr account, your Facebook account, your Twitter account, etc. — and simply collect everything in one place. People could subscribe to your feed and know what and where you have updated without you ever touching anything ever again.
You could do that, but you’d miss the power of FriendFeed. Hence, a post and an invitation to experiment.
What Friendfeed did:
Today Friendfeed rolled out a user interface (in beta) that comes near to what I thought Twitter would be a year ago. A real-time feed with powerful search/track functions, served to users on a single page.
To me, it’s getting really close to Nirvana. To others, not so much. Real time isn’t for the meek or easily intimidated. Fortunately, the FriendFeed developers (FF for short) saw that coming and added a “pause” button so users could slow down the flow of information and consume it in their own time and their own way.
But wait! There’s more…
Enter FriendFeed, where you pick and choose what you want to see from the folks you follow, either by filter, list or by squelching their twitter channel altogether and watching other channels. Want to know what I might be saying about healthcare? Set up a filter in FriendFeed with my name and healthcare. Now you’ll get those terms from me wherever I post them, in real time.
Or, you can just hide my tweets altogether and never have to read another one. (I hope you don’t, but you could.) Or, you could put me on a list called Noisy Pains in the Butts and just look there when you felt like it rather than having my twitters served in real time.
The real time aspect allows for the opportunity to discover, in one place, discussions, blog posts, pictures, videos, all available right there on the same page (no external clicking off to YouTube or Flickr unless you really want to). The thumbnailing gives a much more visual view to the page, and saves you some major clicks.
Here’s a tip: if you create an imaginary friend from a Twitter search term, you can pull in twitter search results along with your friends. Now you’re tracking Twitter and FriendFeed in one place, by using a filter on FriendFeed to aggregate FriendFeed search with Twitter search. Works great, especially for vanity searches.
The bottom line: REAL TIME REAL TIME REAL TIME
The revolution is real time access, filtering and search across the entire Friendfeed stream. As more users adopt it and begin to use it, the power will be obvious and necessary, because we don’t all have the entire day to sit and Twitter, and yet microblogging is the fastest best way to discover news, people and content.
Oh, there is one other thing. When you give your content to Twitter or Facebook, they get to keep it. You don’t get it back. (Try going back more than 20 pages on your tweet stream sometime. Or downloading that video you uploaded to Facebook) On Friendfeed, you can get your entire stream, via RSS.
My bottom line: I’m pimping FriendFeed because I want to keep following everyone I follow on Twitter, discover new voices and information, do it in real time, my way, while retaining my content. Powerful search and track functions don’t hurt. In fact, they’re the kingmaker in my mind.
Next Post: Step-by-Step how-to’s to make FriendFeed Friendlier