The TechMeme killer or the Google Reader killer?

I just switched all my home pages off of TechMeme to FriendFeed.

I find that TechMeme has become a Google News killer. All I see on it is big media companies (including me, who works at Fast Company).

I miss the individual voices and I think that’s really why FriendFeed has gotten my attention.

Well, that and the fact that Google Reader has just been getting more and more unusable lately. This morning I couldn’t even get it to open up. It’s so freaking slow.

Now, at SXSW I met the guy who runs the Google Reader team and he promises major speed improvements “soon.” But right now it’s totally frustrating and FriendFeed is just totally thrilling.

On top of FriendFeed right now are people I don’t know. No A-listers. I’m not there.

That’s thrilling. Why? Because I’m hearing new voices, discovering new blogs, and seeing early adopter behavior in a more pure state. A more “live” state.

It’s exactly what used to thrill me about TechMeme, but then TechMeme needed to move up the stack to try to get a mass-market audience.

Google Reader is being killed by its addition of a social network (which was implemented poorly and is falling apart for someone like me, who likes following hundreds of people).

How about you? Are you changing your reading behavior because of FriendFeed?

145 thoughts on “The TechMeme killer or the Google Reader killer?

  1. I agree I am using friend feed more and more simply for the interaction that reader is not able to provide. Google reminds me of how Microsoft responded to Google when they introduced paid search ads. Microsoft was slow to respond. The same thing is happening to Google now. They are slow to respond to how social media is changing how we use the internet and interact with everyone. Google needs to integrate reader into gmail then redesign gmail so it incorporates friend feed attributes of commenting, than I think their onto something.

  2. I agree I am using friend feed more and more simply for the interaction that reader is not able to provide. Google reminds me of how Microsoft responded to Google when they introduced paid search ads. Microsoft was slow to respond. The same thing is happening to Google now. They are slow to respond to how social media is changing how we use the internet and interact with everyone. Google needs to integrate reader into gmail then redesign gmail so it incorporates friend feed attributes of commenting, than I think their onto something.

  3. Ive just started using it, and im loving it. I use google reader, but for a few months now all ive done is add suscuptions as ive been trawling around, and then seen the amount of stuff in it and run away. Building up the courage to start wading through it.

    I find it great linking to posts i see in friend feeed, i now start my morning off with that : ) definately changed my habits.

    But looking forward to SocialThing! to come out of private beta.

  4. Ive just started using it, and im loving it. I use google reader, but for a few months now all ive done is add suscuptions as ive been trawling around, and then seen the amount of stuff in it and run away. Building up the courage to start wading through it.

    I find it great linking to posts i see in friend feeed, i now start my morning off with that : ) definately changed my habits.

    But looking forward to SocialThing! to come out of private beta.

  5. I passed on FriendFeed. I am waiting for SocialThing to let me in. From what I can see, ST does all that FF except that commentary is posted at the source. So, if I respond to your tweet, it is via Twitter, not yet another network, ie FF. That seems the right course.

    ST is in limited beta. I wait patiently for the invite.

  6. I passed on FriendFeed. I am waiting for SocialThing to let me in. From what I can see, ST does all that FF except that commentary is posted at the source. So, if I respond to your tweet, it is via Twitter, not yet another network, ie FF. That seems the right course.

    ST is in limited beta. I wait patiently for the invite.

  7. My primary access is via a mobile phone web browser, and on that platform my two primary bookmarks are for my Google Reader feeds, and an ego search via TweetScan. (If mobile Twitter has a mobile version of the “Replies” tab, I’d use that instead of TweetScan.) I can *view* FriendFeed on my mobile web browser, but can’t really interact.

    When I’m on a desktop or laptop, I’ll introduce FriendFeed into the mix, and then I can get more interactive.

    Re Google Reader speed – I try not to let my unread items count go over 100, I currently subscribe to only three users’ shared items (yourself, Chris Brogan, and Dana Franks), and I delete items out of my own Shared Items after about a day or two. For my configuration, speed isn’t really a problem at this point.

    It’s interesting to note that Google Reader and FriendFeed have two different philosophies, since FriendFeed is person-centric and Google Reader treats each feed separately. The disadvantage of FriendFeed is that it forces you to look at everything that I do, including the songs I like; what if you don’t care about the songs I like? Conversely, the disadvantage of Google Reader is that if you’re interested in the person, you may miss out on a lot of what the person is doing, or in the progression of a person’s thought (a Google Reader shared item becomes a tweet, which then becomes a blog post).

    What would it take for me to switch my primary reading platform from Google Reader to FriendFeed, MyBlogLog, or something like that? (1) Good mobile interface. (2) Easy maintenance and configuration of feeds. (3) Speed.

  8. My primary access is via a mobile phone web browser, and on that platform my two primary bookmarks are for my Google Reader feeds, and an ego search via TweetScan. (If mobile Twitter has a mobile version of the “Replies” tab, I’d use that instead of TweetScan.) I can *view* FriendFeed on my mobile web browser, but can’t really interact.

    When I’m on a desktop or laptop, I’ll introduce FriendFeed into the mix, and then I can get more interactive.

    Re Google Reader speed – I try not to let my unread items count go over 100, I currently subscribe to only three users’ shared items (yourself, Chris Brogan, and Dana Franks), and I delete items out of my own Shared Items after about a day or two. For my configuration, speed isn’t really a problem at this point.

    It’s interesting to note that Google Reader and FriendFeed have two different philosophies, since FriendFeed is person-centric and Google Reader treats each feed separately. The disadvantage of FriendFeed is that it forces you to look at everything that I do, including the songs I like; what if you don’t care about the songs I like? Conversely, the disadvantage of Google Reader is that if you’re interested in the person, you may miss out on a lot of what the person is doing, or in the progression of a person’s thought (a Google Reader shared item becomes a tweet, which then becomes a blog post).

    What would it take for me to switch my primary reading platform from Google Reader to FriendFeed, MyBlogLog, or something like that? (1) Good mobile interface. (2) Easy maintenance and configuration of feeds. (3) Speed.

  9. Christopher: you got a point there, but if you want people to engage with you in today’s world you gotta be a little over-the-top. Whenever I do a boring headline, even a well-thought-out post, it gets a lot less attention than when I do a little selling in the headline. People are attracted to conflict. “Friendfeed is awesome” will attract 1/100th the audience that “FriendFeed is killing XXXX” will.

    I don’t like it, but that’s the world we live in.

  10. Christopher: you got a point there, but if you want people to engage with you in today’s world you gotta be a little over-the-top. Whenever I do a boring headline, even a well-thought-out post, it gets a lot less attention than when I do a little selling in the headline. People are attracted to conflict. “Friendfeed is awesome” will attract 1/100th the audience that “FriendFeed is killing XXXX” will.

    I don’t like it, but that’s the world we live in.

  11. a non-sensational headline

    Well that’s also on account of the blogger set not reading posts, just skimming headlines, but, interestingly enough, some people do read non-sensational stuff, just has to be interesting and well-developed, and pitched to certain audiences, namely SME’s.

    Granted, the usual masses will read Paris or Britney People Mag stories over the NYT, but really, is that what you aspire to be, just another shrill Weekly World News, out for cheap traffic gains? And here I thought you hated the British sensationalist press. ;)

    Might want to start including the words “aliens”, “bigfoot”, “UFOs” and then “Mike Walker reports…” or anything “Patrick Swayze” and never-ending stories about Oprah’s (expanding or contracting) weight too…that’s worth traffic gold.

  12. a non-sensational headline

    Well that’s also on account of the blogger set not reading posts, just skimming headlines, but, interestingly enough, some people do read non-sensational stuff, just has to be interesting and well-developed, and pitched to certain audiences, namely SME’s.

    Granted, the usual masses will read Paris or Britney People Mag stories over the NYT, but really, is that what you aspire to be, just another shrill Weekly World News, out for cheap traffic gains? And here I thought you hated the British sensationalist press. ;)

    Might want to start including the words “aliens”, “bigfoot”, “UFOs” and then “Mike Walker reports…” or anything “Patrick Swayze” and never-ending stories about Oprah’s (expanding or contracting) weight too…that’s worth traffic gold.

  13. Chris: because I know that most people won’t read posts with a non-sensational headline. Gotta get your attention on Google Reader or Friendfeed.

    But it didn’t even take a few months. I saw a FriendFeed killer yesterday that’ll be out soon.

  14. Chris: because I know that most people won’t read posts with a non-sensational headline. Gotta get your attention on Google Reader or Friendfeed.

    But it didn’t even take a few months. I saw a FriendFeed killer yesterday that’ll be out soon.

  15. Why does everything have to be an “X Killer”? Scoble I know that you are an early adopter but it seems like every couple of months we see that Y is the new X Killer? Everything is still very young…I bet in a few months Y will be the new FriendFeed killer in your eyes…

  16. Why does everything have to be an “X Killer”? Scoble I know that you are an early adopter but it seems like every couple of months we see that Y is the new X Killer? Everything is still very young…I bet in a few months Y will be the new FriendFeed killer in your eyes…

  17. I am using FriendFeed, but I’m running with SocialThing as my homepage – the big problem with FriendFeed is that nearly everybody I want to receive updates for is not on FriendFeed, and the process to set up imaginary friends for all of them is tedious in the extreme.

    With SocialThing, I just pointed it at the services and I’m getting updates for all my friends on each service.

  18. I am using FriendFeed, but I’m running with SocialThing as my homepage – the big problem with FriendFeed is that nearly everybody I want to receive updates for is not on FriendFeed, and the process to set up imaginary friends for all of them is tedious in the extreme.

    With SocialThing, I just pointed it at the services and I’m getting updates for all my friends on each service.

  19. Google Reader is really very slow… sometimes it takes more than 3-4 minutes to load the feed pages..this is irritating… techmeme feeds are something predefined where as feeds in Google reader is something defined by user, so it’s not reasonable to compare both.. they are doing their jobs… i use my own news aggregator for this as well as Google readers too … friendfeed is something which never got my attention…

  20. Google Reader is really very slow… sometimes it takes more than 3-4 minutes to load the feed pages..this is irritating… techmeme feeds are something predefined where as feeds in Google reader is something defined by user, so it’s not reasonable to compare both.. they are doing their jobs… i use my own news aggregator for this as well as Google readers too … friendfeed is something which never got my attention…

  21. FriednFeed has a nice yet simples interface, which appeals to me. Maybe it would change my reading habits, I catch myself following you more than before (with the feeds on Netvibes).

    I like the way it puts the activites in chronological order, especially with people who use different tools as complement for each other (you twitter live from an event, than at the end of the day you post a summary of the event, uploads some pics of it at Picasa…).

    However, it gets confusing when you’re following more than 5 people. I think they should rethink the layout to make it easier to follow.

  22. FriednFeed has a nice yet simples interface, which appeals to me. Maybe it would change my reading habits, I catch myself following you more than before (with the feeds on Netvibes).

    I like the way it puts the activites in chronological order, especially with people who use different tools as complement for each other (you twitter live from an event, than at the end of the day you post a summary of the event, uploads some pics of it at Picasa…).

    However, it gets confusing when you’re following more than 5 people. I think they should rethink the layout to make it easier to follow.

  23. FriendFeed looks cool, but as with most news readers nowadays, it does seem to suffer from information overflow and a chaotic interface!

    I’ve now started using a brand new service called Planetaki for reading news. It provides a straight forward top-to-bottom list of news where the latest unread posts are clearly presented, no fuss, and no hassle. Its still being developed, so there is no OPML support yet, but I’d expect that amongst many other improvements to be on their way soon.

    I currently use it as a complement to Google Reader for the times when I don’t have several hours for a full “click, wait, and read” session.

    Cheers, sam

  24. FriendFeed looks cool, but as with most news readers nowadays, it does seem to suffer from information overflow and a chaotic interface!

    I’ve now started using a brand new service called Planetaki for reading news. It provides a straight forward top-to-bottom list of news where the latest unread posts are clearly presented, no fuss, and no hassle. Its still being developed, so there is no OPML support yet, but I’d expect that amongst many other improvements to be on their way soon.

    I currently use it as a complement to Google Reader for the times when I don’t have several hours for a full “click, wait, and read” session.

    Cheers, sam

  25. I *want* to like FriendFeed, but I hyperventilate when I look at it. It just makes me feel like I’m drowning in information.

    Too much stuff, most of which is unimportant (ie. I won’t die if I don’t catch every tweet from friends, I need to remind myself of that), and the thought of yet another place for discussion just irks me.

    If FriendFeed was able to write back into the original social networks, I’d consider using it more, but at the moment, it’s read-only and commenting within FF doesn’t appeal to me.

    Maybe one day, but for now, it’s just an “hmm well its nice!” network for me.

    I’ll leave it up to people like you, Robert, to sell me on it.

    Vero
    Community Gal at Taptu.com

  26. I *want* to like FriendFeed, but I hyperventilate when I look at it. It just makes me feel like I’m drowning in information.

    Too much stuff, most of which is unimportant (ie. I won’t die if I don’t catch every tweet from friends, I need to remind myself of that), and the thought of yet another place for discussion just irks me.

    If FriendFeed was able to write back into the original social networks, I’d consider using it more, but at the moment, it’s read-only and commenting within FF doesn’t appeal to me.

    Maybe one day, but for now, it’s just an “hmm well its nice!” network for me.

    I’ll leave it up to people like you, Robert, to sell me on it.

    Vero
    Community Gal at Taptu.com

  27. I liek it because it pumps stuff to email where I can read it without going online (great for trains). Thank to email’s more sophisticated sorting etc it makes it a more effective way of keeping up with high volume people like Mr Scoble ;-)

  28. I liek it because it pumps stuff to email where I can read it without going online (great for trains). Thank to email’s more sophisticated sorting etc it makes it a more effective way of keeping up with high volume people like Mr Scoble ;-)

  29. Perhaps I’ve set up FriendFeed incorrectly, but I can’t see the utility of it within a feed reader — where I still live half the day — when every post headline reads: “Robert Scoble posted two messages on Jaiku” or “Dave Winer posted a message on Twitter” or “You bookmarked a page on del.icio.us.” I’d prefer to see the headline or truncated version of the message itself with a simple indication of what kind of message I might expect by clicking to see more. I’m using NetNewsWire to follow the feed. Personally, I’m looking for tools that remove distractions and add clarity and comprehension. FriendFeed might help, and I’m probably missing something, but I’m just not seeing a large leap in productivity here.

  30. Perhaps I’ve set up FriendFeed incorrectly, but I can’t see the utility of it within a feed reader — where I still live half the day — when every post headline reads: “Robert Scoble posted two messages on Jaiku” or “Dave Winer posted a message on Twitter” or “You bookmarked a page on del.icio.us.” I’d prefer to see the headline or truncated version of the message itself with a simple indication of what kind of message I might expect by clicking to see more. I’m using NetNewsWire to follow the feed. Personally, I’m looking for tools that remove distractions and add clarity and comprehension. FriendFeed might help, and I’m probably missing something, but I’m just not seeing a large leap in productivity here.

Comments are closed.