How our digital lives are spreading out

Visit my FriendFeed and you’ll see why I’m blogging less (it shows you what I’ve been generating on other services). When I started this blog in 2000 there wasn’t Twitter. Wasn’t Upcoming.org. Wasn’t Google Reader. Wasn’t Flickr. Wasn’t YouTube. Wasn’t Seesmic. Etc. Etc.

I’m off to attend and speak at the Next Web Conference in Amsterdam. My talk’s theme? The new “Friend Divide.” We’ll take a look at several services and apps and discuss the implications of the new divide between those who have lots of friends and those who don’t have many at all (or who aren’t using software like FriendFeed/Upcoming/Flickr, etc).

Also, notice another trend: you are moving your comments over to FriendFeed as well. The comments I’m getting over on FriendFeed are increasingly more interesting and from more diverse group of people than happen here on my own blog. That’s an interesting trend. Some bloggers are getting pissed off because of that (because they think they need the conversation to happen on their own blog). Me? I don’t mind where the conversation happens, I’ll participate there.

102 thoughts on “How our digital lives are spreading out

  1. Have you considered adding the Friendfeed plugin that allows you to embed those comments into your blog too? All the bits of conversation coming together.

  2. Have you considered adding the Friendfeed plugin that allows you to embed those comments into your blog too? All the bits of conversation coming together.

  3. You do not need to be a hero to start, however you have to start to be a hero. Good start which promises a lot of interesting things… A bottom line of this idea is “to start a conversation” and it does not matter in what blog you will have your start. Let me not to agree with you. The question here that actually bothers me is whether all blogs will be given equal opportunities and will be presented equally or some of them will be given a number of privileges and will always be in the first line. Don’t you think that it is already high time to create a platform of equal competition? May be, only then it will hardly matter where you start.

  4. You do not need to be a hero to start, however you have to start to be a hero. Good start which promises a lot of interesting things… A bottom line of this idea is “to start a conversation” and it does not matter in what blog you will have your start. Let me not to agree with you. The question here that actually bothers me is whether all blogs will be given equal opportunities and will be presented equally or some of them will be given a number of privileges and will always be in the first line. Don’t you think that it is already high time to create a platform of equal competition? May be, only then it will hardly matter where you start.

  5. Here at BigOven.com, a social network about food, we just went live with FriendFeed support. Using the FriendFeed API was quite simple and straightforward, and it appears to work well.

    BigOven is a social network about food, and will automatically place notices on your FriendFeed (with your permission, of course) when you rave about a recipe, post a cooking video to the site, post a photo, or receive a medal from another user for something great you’ve done in the community.

    What it means for sites like us is not only a development-cost savings (not having to roll our own friending/broadcast platform), but also to be able to participate in a much, much bigger platform. I argued that Microsoft ought to buy FriendFeed (or ShareThing) immediately and drop the Yahoo bid, on my blog recently.

  6. Here at BigOven.com, a social network about food, we just went live with FriendFeed support. Using the FriendFeed API was quite simple and straightforward, and it appears to work well.

    BigOven is a social network about food, and will automatically place notices on your FriendFeed (with your permission, of course) when you rave about a recipe, post a cooking video to the site, post a photo, or receive a medal from another user for something great you’ve done in the community.

    What it means for sites like us is not only a development-cost savings (not having to roll our own friending/broadcast platform), but also to be able to participate in a much, much bigger platform. I argued that Microsoft ought to buy FriendFeed (or ShareThing) immediately and drop the Yahoo bid, on my blog recently.

  7. Robert,

    A “friend divide” that is new one to me. I would love it if the Internet friends were my “real” friends but since many of these “friends” use social networking as a marketing tool it is hard to believe that I would consider them real friends. Do you actually meet any of these friends in real life? I am sure that the vast majority of them you have never met in person, like myself. I would have a beer with you if i met you in person but since your such a globe trotter then i do not see that happening. Just my thoughts on the subject.

  8. Robert,

    A “friend divide” that is new one to me. I would love it if the Internet friends were my “real” friends but since many of these “friends” use social networking as a marketing tool it is hard to believe that I would consider them real friends. Do you actually meet any of these friends in real life? I am sure that the vast majority of them you have never met in person, like myself. I would have a beer with you if i met you in person but since your such a globe trotter then i do not see that happening. Just my thoughts on the subject.

  9. Your self-absorbed narcissism has reached a new high.

    My prediction: your readership has peaked.

  10. Your self-absorbed narcissism has reached a new high.

    My prediction: your readership has peaked.

  11. I do not know what services do FriendFeed and Twitter will offer in the future. But it is pretty interesting how social network sites go bloom..I wonder what will they offer next or will they offer good addon services on it.
    -W3G

  12. I do not know what services do FriendFeed and Twitter will offer in the future. But it is pretty interesting how social network sites go bloom..I wonder what will they offer next or will they offer good addon services on it.
    -W3G

  13. The friend divide reminds me a lot of the talk in the early 90s about the global village. I think it turned out that some people live perfectly content only having real connections to people, while others prefer the virtual connects made through Twitter and the like. I’d be interested to hear how many people you have real connections with that you meet in Amsterdam.

  14. The friend divide reminds me a lot of the talk in the early 90s about the global village. I think it turned out that some people live perfectly content only having real connections to people, while others prefer the virtual connects made through Twitter and the like. I’d be interested to hear how many people you have real connections with that you meet in Amsterdam.

  15. Wow.. I certainly had these ideas for a long time.

    I’ve definitely been able to implement many of them (where else can you uniformly Comment/Tag Search Results or Feed Items and share with friends, or Post to Topics, all within an overarching framework of interconnected Memes..?)

    I just never had enough in the way of friends.. Stayed away from Facebook because I wanted to code.. Always though MySpace was ugly.. Had a couple friends who coded with me but got tired..

    Its clear that the will to code and good ideas simply aren’t enough.. I’ve slowly watched Google implement things I had going (Notes on Search Results..? Search History?)

    Damn you Titans!! :)

  16. Wow.. I certainly had these ideas for a long time.

    I’ve definitely been able to implement many of them (where else can you uniformly Comment/Tag Search Results or Feed Items and share with friends, or Post to Topics, all within an overarching framework of interconnected Memes..?)

    I just never had enough in the way of friends.. Stayed away from Facebook because I wanted to code.. Always though MySpace was ugly.. Had a couple friends who coded with me but got tired..

    Its clear that the will to code and good ideas simply aren’t enough.. I’ve slowly watched Google implement things I had going (Notes on Search Results..? Search History?)

    Damn you Titans!! :)

  17. It’s just more ways to talk to yourself and fellow worshipers. The conversations are all so much fluff and randomness, but at least, in the past, some blog posts have been well-written thought-pieces, now everything is either straining-to-make-a-point quickie posts, controversially sensational or a mere pointers to things done elsewhere, as so many other new-new-hot-hot things to focus the short attention spans on.

    Friend Divide? How seriously condescending. Just because some people don’t play gotta-collect-them-all Pokemon games with software Social Services doesn’t mean they don’t have friends, in fact offline, the friendships are wider, deeper, richer and more focused on things other than the latest Web 2.0 or Web-personality-cult of the moment. Besides, you (personally) don’t so much as “have” friends in these spaces, as much to “broadcast” to them.

  18. It’s just more ways to talk to yourself and fellow worshipers. The conversations are all so much fluff and randomness, but at least, in the past, some blog posts have been well-written thought-pieces, now everything is either straining-to-make-a-point quickie posts, controversially sensational or a mere pointers to things done elsewhere, as so many other new-new-hot-hot things to focus the short attention spans on.

    Friend Divide? How seriously condescending. Just because some people don’t play gotta-collect-them-all Pokemon games with software Social Services doesn’t mean they don’t have friends, in fact offline, the friendships are wider, deeper, richer and more focused on things other than the latest Web 2.0 or Web-personality-cult of the moment. Besides, you (personally) don’t so much as “have” friends in these spaces, as much to “broadcast” to them.

  19. Commenting on your blog post to say that the discussions on FriendFeed and Twitter this past week have been much more dynamic and interesting than those in the comments on your blog in the last week.

    I finally opened a FriendFeed account and started following people immediately – I feel like I have a much better pulse on what is going on on a daily basis in the tech industry.

    FriendFeed is almost like a 24 hour CNN or Stock Market TV program…except it has news you care about!

  20. Commenting on your blog post to say that the discussions on FriendFeed and Twitter this past week have been much more dynamic and interesting than those in the comments on your blog in the last week.

    I finally opened a FriendFeed account and started following people immediately – I feel like I have a much better pulse on what is going on on a daily basis in the tech industry.

    FriendFeed is almost like a 24 hour CNN or Stock Market TV program…except it has news you care about!

  21. So does your friend feed quickly become your main digital identity online?

    If there is going to be one place online that is Justin Thorp, I’d rather it not be part of one centralized system. My blog is the center of my online identity and everything branches out from there.

    FriendFeed is too much of a centralized decentralized social network.

  22. So does your friend feed quickly become your main digital identity online?

    If there is going to be one place online that is Justin Thorp, I’d rather it not be part of one centralized system. My blog is the center of my online identity and everything branches out from there.

    FriendFeed is too much of a centralized decentralized social network.

  23. I think that blogging is still the best way to develop the conversations and idea. But yes, there is Twitter, Google Reader (do u know the gReader extension? you can send comment on Google Reader with Disqus) Flickr, FriendFeed: this is a part of our digital identity that we can summarize in the blog.

  24. I think that blogging is still the best way to develop the conversations and idea. But yes, there is Twitter, Google Reader (do u know the gReader extension? you can send comment on Google Reader with Disqus) Flickr, FriendFeed: this is a part of our digital identity that we can summarize in the blog.

  25. Hi Robert
    I prefer your blog to a conversation held elsewhere. It’s like a party that you are hosting, instead of floating around at other events.

    You make a great host.

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