Why FriendFeed won't go mainstream (Part I)

Robert Blum got me to call him an idiot because of this Tweet: “FriendFeed only helps if you’re dedicating your life to following yet another web site.”

Chris Saad took the conversation in a different direction with this Tweet: “discussion should occur around the target object – if its a blog then in the comments – not on friendfeed.” Which, of course, got this conversation going.

That got Mobile Jones to agree with Chris Saad on this Tweet: “Chris is on the right end of this. FF is like is not in the best interests of those who create the content.” Which, of course, got this conversation going.

Rob LaGesse wrote a whole blog post about how he thinks FriendFeed is ugly: “The service is ugly (to me).  It has all kinds of crap I don’t care about in my feed.” Of course that got this conversation going.

Mark Evans goes even further and says he just can’t deal with anything else that’ll steal his attention. Of course that started a conversation over on FriendFeed too.

And to put punctuation on this whole story, Corida and others talk about the noise on FriendFeed.

All of these get to the heart of why FriendFeed won’t go anywhere other than to early adopter communities who like lots of noise.

I’ve studied tons of people’s reactions to FriendFeed. Here’s why it won’t go mainstream:

1. Only early adopters care about gluing together various social networks like I do (look at the right side of my blog, for instance, and you’ll see travel and schedule and events and photos and videos and more all glued together). Most people aren’t on more than one or two services and aren’t content creators (of everyone on Upcoming.org, for instance, only a handful of people have more than 5 events and most have none).

2. Normal people (ie, those who aren’t on Twitter 18 hours a day) don’t like noise. Even on Twitter, what’s the number one thing I hear from followers? “You’re too noisy.” FriendFeed brings tons of new noise to normal people, especially if they add a bunch of the friends that FriendFeed recommends (I’m one of them, but the others on that list are among the noisiest people on the Internet). For normal people they can’t handle the noise. It’s chaotic, confusing, and until they figure out the “hide” link they will get turned off. Usually when unpassionate or late adopter types get turned off they just hit the back button.

3. There isn’t one method of using these services. Some people just want to see their closest friend’s baby photos. Other people, like me, want to use these services like a chat room to talk with large numbers of people about today’s hottest news. This disconnect pisses both of us off and makes it less likely I’ll tell “normal users” about these services. Of course anyone who reads my blog isn’t normal, so I don’t mind telling you all about these things incessantly. :-)

4. FriendFeed is frustrating to use even for advanced users. Here, quickly, tell me how you can see only Flickr photos on FriendFeed and block everything else. Hint: there is a way, it’s just hard to find. How about, quickly again, tell me how to see all posts that have a comment or a “like” on them. Sorry, that one isn’t possible yet. How about find me all posts from everyone that mentions the word “noise” in them? Yes, that one is possible, but to do it you gotta get acquainted with FF’s advanced search features. At Microsoft we learned no one ever uses those features. Have you figured out how to hide all Twitter messages that don’t have a comment on them yet? It’s possible too, but you gotta click on the Hide feature and play around. Frustrating, frustrating, frustrating.

5. FriendFeed doesn’t work well on mobile phones. Most people around the world use their mobile phones far more often than they use their laptops. So, if you don’t have good mobile phone interfaces you can kick your going mainstream dreams in the toilet.

6. Want to find some new friends? The recommended friends feature is pretty cool (albeit frustrating to find) but the problem is you can’t figure out why it is presenting the friends it is (hint: it presents the most popular users up front. These are the most noisy users on the service and probably are pretty geeky to boot. People like me, Dave Winer, Louis Gray, Michael Arrington, etc).

7. I can’t add new services easily. Qik, for instance, is among my most favorite data type. But how do I get that added? Oh, I gotta add an RSS feed for services that aren’t already in the system. But then the videos don’t look as nice as, say, YouTube’s or Flickr’s. That’s disappointing.

8. It pisses bloggers off because all their comments are moving onto FriendFeed rather than staying on their blogs. Watch this post, I bet I get more comments over on FriendFeed than here. Now this one does NOT piss me off. I don’t really care where you talk about my ideas and I’ll go wherever the audience goes (which is why I often commented on other people’s blogs). But they do have a point. It’d be nice if bloggers got warned when a conversation was happening about what they wrote and if there were an easy way to join FriendFeed comments and conversations into their own blog commenting systems. When bloggers get pissed off they tend to talk less about new services, which retards their ability to go mainstream.

9. Comments get fragmented, even inside FriendFeed. Why? Well, let’s say you write a really great blog post. You’ll get shared on tons of people’s Google Reader shared feeds. Some comments happen on Louis Gray’s FriendFeed. Some happen on mine. Others happen on Thomas Hawk’s. Still others happen on other people’s feeds. Everyone has their own audience which gets involved and now we have duplicate items all over the place (noise, and not the fun kind) and comment fragmentation.

Well, that’s enough. There’s more, but these are the biggies, I think. Got any other reasons why FriendFeed won’t go mainstream? You know where to leave a comment. I’ll be watching for it.

This is part I. In second part I’ll explain why FriendFeed will go mainstream.

UPDATE: We’re discussing this post over on FriendFeed too.

Comments

  1. The FriendFeed of today may not be the FriendFeed of 2010……

    Like everything else, it can change and grow as it gets more input….

    It is not written in stone that it stays exactly as it is; it may merge or even be acquired.

    There are just too many possibilities in this faced paced future to make any predictions with authority

  2. The FriendFeed of today may not be the FriendFeed of 2010……

    Like everything else, it can change and grow as it gets more input….

    It is not written in stone that it stays exactly as it is; it may merge or even be acquired.

    There are just too many possibilities in this faced paced future to make any predictions with authority

  3. I’m leaving a comment here rather than on FriendFeed just to throw things off a bit. It had not occurred to me that bloggers got pissed when comments moved off their site. I would have thought in the overall picture that having people engaged in conversation around your topics to be a good thing, regardless where that discussion took place (aside from a walled garden environment).

  4. I’m leaving a comment here rather than on FriendFeed just to throw things off a bit. It had not occurred to me that bloggers got pissed when comments moved off their site. I would have thought in the overall picture that having people engaged in conversation around your topics to be a good thing, regardless where that discussion took place (aside from a walled garden environment).

  5. I’ll wait for part II before a longer comment. In the meantime, let me just say that one of the biggest reasons is #3 (which is really the same as #2)

    The future I *can* see happening for gluing together social networks is on a more individualized basis. Possible even a desktop solution. What we need is a way to uniquely identify conversations/branches without a central authority. (I believe that the area of central hubs will not last that much longer, and distributed is the future)

  6. I’ll wait for part II before a longer comment. In the meantime, let me just say that one of the biggest reasons is #3 (which is really the same as #2)

    The future I *can* see happening for gluing together social networks is on a more individualized basis. Possible even a desktop solution. What we need is a way to uniquely identify conversations/branches without a central authority. (I believe that the area of central hubs will not last that much longer, and distributed is the future)

  7. Friendfeed (and everyone else) should take a very long look at the new MyBlogLog method of finding friends… it finds your friends, not everybody elses.

    It totally exploits the social graph finding your existing friends on other servies which people have added to MyBlogLog.

  8. Friendfeed (and everyone else) should take a very long look at the new MyBlogLog method of finding friends… it finds your friends, not everybody elses.

    It totally exploits the social graph finding your existing friends on other servies which people have added to MyBlogLog.

  9. So this after hyping the heck out of it for 2 to 3 months or so…takes awhile for the electrical signals to gray-matter connect, evidently.

    Scobleizer Pattern (time-frame variates from 2 weeks to 6 months)

    10. Hype, hype. Change the world as we know it, better than the Second Coming of Jesus Christ himself. You just gotta check this out.

    20. Whine, whine, pout, blogger temper-tantrum (I want it like this, it should do this, do it now), And if they don’t do it, I will break the rules and do it anyways, as I am the center of the universe and I always know better, docnha know?

    30. Not using it, they didn’t listen to me, besides it got boring, I can only focus on something for so long, so there, nah nah nah, no googlejuice for them. They just don’t get us early adopters. They will pay the price.

    40. Ohhh oooh ooooh, lookie, wow, new shiny toy. Wowwwie.

    50. Goto 10

  10. So this after hyping the heck out of it for 2 to 3 months or so…takes awhile for the electrical signals to gray-matter connect, evidently.

    Scobleizer Pattern (time-frame variates from 2 weeks to 6 months)

    10. Hype, hype. Change the world as we know it, better than the Second Coming of Jesus Christ himself. You just gotta check this out.

    20. Whine, whine, pout, blogger temper-tantrum (I want it like this, it should do this, do it now), And if they don’t do it, I will break the rules and do it anyways, as I am the center of the universe and I always know better, docnha know?

    30. Not using it, they didn’t listen to me, besides it got boring, I can only focus on something for so long, so there, nah nah nah, no googlejuice for them. They just don’t get us early adopters. They will pay the price.

    40. Ohhh oooh ooooh, lookie, wow, new shiny toy. Wowwwie.

    50. Goto 10

  11. Very interesting post and discussion. I found you on Twitter through @ replies to other friends there. When I joined FriendFeed recently, I added you to my subscriptions because I like your ideas. I saw the link on FriendFeed to this blog post and am commenting on it here. Just thought you might be interested in my path to your blog – this is my first time visiting your blog.

  12. Very interesting post and discussion. I found you on Twitter through @ replies to other friends there. When I joined FriendFeed recently, I added you to my subscriptions because I like your ideas. I saw the link on FriendFeed to this blog post and am commenting on it here. Just thought you might be interested in my path to your blog – this is my first time visiting your blog.

  13. I’ve wondered this for years now: Does Christopher Coulter exist in any universe other than comments to Scobleizer?

  14. I’ve wondered this for years now: Does Christopher Coulter exist in any universe other than comments to Scobleizer?

  15. Regarding conversations… I think it’s short-sighted to assume that there is one global conversation for a given object and a single context to which it belongs.

    The same people who say that embedding GTalk chats onto a blog will replace comments, are crazy. The fact is, that there are conversations happening everywhere, on all levels, among people with different relationships. I agree that comments on a story which has been published to a blog need to be consolidated. On Streamy, you can post comments to a story, and that type of fragmentation is the issue.

    Conversation among friends about a story one of them shared does not belong on the blog. This is not a privacy issue, this is a context issue. When one of these friends wishes to address the original author, or be a part of that conversation, he or she will contribute to it.

    The problem you guys have is that there’s little or no differentiation between the “friends” I’m talking about and the “original blogs” – therefore much conversation between FriendFeed and a given blog comments are from similar people and contextually compatible.

    Chris, I don’t think an IM conversation between you and me about a blog post automatically belongs in the comments of that post. I’d like to know how you differ there.

  16. Regarding conversations… I think it’s short-sighted to assume that there is one global conversation for a given object and a single context to which it belongs.

    The same people who say that embedding GTalk chats onto a blog will replace comments, are crazy. The fact is, that there are conversations happening everywhere, on all levels, among people with different relationships. I agree that comments on a story which has been published to a blog need to be consolidated. On Streamy, you can post comments to a story, and that type of fragmentation is the issue.

    Conversation among friends about a story one of them shared does not belong on the blog. This is not a privacy issue, this is a context issue. When one of these friends wishes to address the original author, or be a part of that conversation, he or she will contribute to it.

    The problem you guys have is that there’s little or no differentiation between the “friends” I’m talking about and the “original blogs” – therefore much conversation between FriendFeed and a given blog comments are from similar people and contextually compatible.

    Chris, I don’t think an IM conversation between you and me about a blog post automatically belongs in the comments of that post. I’d like to know how you differ there.

  17. I couldnt agree more with point 4. I’m a techie, and a later-stage early adopter (is there such a thing?), but I find Freindfeed to be clumsy and confusing. I just can’t figure out how to use it properly, and then get frustrated. My friends and family figuring it out? Fuggedaboutit.

    BTW, I think you meant ‘Corvida’ not ‘Corida’ in the 6th paragraph of your post.

  18. I couldnt agree more with point 4. I’m a techie, and a later-stage early adopter (is there such a thing?), but I find Freindfeed to be clumsy and confusing. I just can’t figure out how to use it properly, and then get frustrated. My friends and family figuring it out? Fuggedaboutit.

    BTW, I think you meant ‘Corvida’ not ‘Corida’ in the 6th paragraph of your post.

  19. I’m sticking with Soup.io for aggregation. Much cleaner, less noisy, and it’s based in Europe too. Which is nice.

  20. Comment fragmentation is the thing that really gets me. I’m unconcerned about the noise, in my opinion people to follow on Twitter and FriendFeed are my real life friends – I don’t use them to get my news as yet. Instead I read a number of blogs a day, some of which will be posting about the same thing. I have primaries and secondaries, so my thoughts either get commented on the main ones or on my own blog. The problem with FriendFeed does come when people blog about an item, share an item and Twitter about an item. It splits the comments and no one knows everybody’s opinions. Then again, by my own method of blogging about something I found interesting people can comment there, which is no different from FriendFeed’s effect.

    Really I think we need to go back and take a longer look at the idea of Trackbacks. With the increased power of modern aggregators Trackbacks could provide the best branching discussions – as every blog who reports an item tracks back to it, everyone who blogs that tracks back to the first blog and so forth. We could view an expanding comment tree through blogs, comments and the social scene watching the various conversations grow.

  21. Comment fragmentation is the thing that really gets me. I’m unconcerned about the noise, in my opinion people to follow on Twitter and FriendFeed are my real life friends – I don’t use them to get my news as yet. Instead I read a number of blogs a day, some of which will be posting about the same thing. I have primaries and secondaries, so my thoughts either get commented on the main ones or on my own blog. The problem with FriendFeed does come when people blog about an item, share an item and Twitter about an item. It splits the comments and no one knows everybody’s opinions. Then again, by my own method of blogging about something I found interesting people can comment there, which is no different from FriendFeed’s effect.

    Really I think we need to go back and take a longer look at the idea of Trackbacks. With the increased power of modern aggregators Trackbacks could provide the best branching discussions – as every blog who reports an item tracks back to it, everyone who blogs that tracks back to the first blog and so forth. We could view an expanding comment tree through blogs, comments and the social scene watching the various conversations grow.

  22. I will admit that I haven’t become a pervasive commenter on FF as of yet, I make some but not with reckless abandon. But one of the elements of Robert’s post doesn’t resonate with me and that is regarding commenting on blog posts in FF rather than on the blog. Loic mentioned this a few weeks ago as well. I’m not suggesting it doesn’t happen BUT I do question why it does. Allow me to explain:

    1. Robert posts a blog post.
    2. A notification that there is a new blog post is posted on FriendFeed.
    3. I click on the link in FriendFeed to read Robert’s post
    4. I DO NOT click back to FriendFeed to place an inline comment, I read the comments on Robert’s blog and comment here just like I am right now.

    So, the only time I comment inline on FF is when there are already comments. But even then, why comment inline when you haven’t read the blog post yet?

  23. I will admit that I haven’t become a pervasive commenter on FF as of yet, I make some but not with reckless abandon. But one of the elements of Robert’s post doesn’t resonate with me and that is regarding commenting on blog posts in FF rather than on the blog. Loic mentioned this a few weeks ago as well. I’m not suggesting it doesn’t happen BUT I do question why it does. Allow me to explain:

    1. Robert posts a blog post.
    2. A notification that there is a new blog post is posted on FriendFeed.
    3. I click on the link in FriendFeed to read Robert’s post
    4. I DO NOT click back to FriendFeed to place an inline comment, I read the comments on Robert’s blog and comment here just like I am right now.

    So, the only time I comment inline on FF is when there are already comments. But even then, why comment inline when you haven’t read the blog post yet?

  24. It’s such a shame to see such good ideas follow such a, dare I say it, closed source path. With the prevalence of social networks on the ‘internets’ we all need a way to aggregate activity. FriendFeed should do just that.

    However, I always find such a close tie between missing features and lack of a monetization strategy. How will FriendFeed make this a business? I don’t see it moving beyond click advertising. As such, how can we ever expect such a service to serve our needs to solely aggregate activity from other content sources?

    Google might have mastered it but will Twitter and Facebook pay for users to access information they can freely get on their sites? Time will tell…

  25. It’s such a shame to see such good ideas follow such a, dare I say it, closed source path. With the prevalence of social networks on the ‘internets’ we all need a way to aggregate activity. FriendFeed should do just that.

    However, I always find such a close tie between missing features and lack of a monetization strategy. How will FriendFeed make this a business? I don’t see it moving beyond click advertising. As such, how can we ever expect such a service to serve our needs to solely aggregate activity from other content sources?

    Google might have mastered it but will Twitter and Facebook pay for users to access information they can freely get on their sites? Time will tell…

  26. Very thoughtful as usual. There is a well known saying, which I believe in, (and which I think applies generally here), that people overestimate change in the short term, but underestimate it in the long term.

    That is one reason why, for example, some startups advance a strategy or technology only to see a later big pocketed entrant scoop up that now created market and make the big profits.

    Think Dell Computer, as one example. They’re famous for waiting until strategies mature and then scooping in (as opposed to doing their own innovation). It’s how they keep their costs down (of course famously their direct model was another).

    In regard to the adoption of friendfeed, in the social network space, innovation is increasingly rapid. Witness how Google Friend Connect, Facebook Connect and MySpace’s offering all were announced in the same week.

    Bret Taylor, Paul B. et. all (up to 8 company employees last I heard) are extremely talented and driving innovation. If they can get significant funding (I’m not sure what the revenue stream for Friendfeed is planned to be, but with Page Views they can do advertising, search deals etc.) they can attempt going forward to be a competitor of note with those (currently much) larger competitors. Robert’s point of this post (one of them), that the space in which Friendfeed currently competes is circumscribed (limited) which limits their growth, is a good and interesting thesis, but perhaps fails to fully appreciate the evolving needs of users (past: who could ever need their own computer (maybe it would be useful only for recipes, etc.)! who needs to be online, who needs email!). Everything starts out geeky and has major hurdles (Geoffrey Moore Moore “Crossing The Chasm”) before going mainstream. Also referred to as “The Valley of Death”.

    Ultimately, if services add value and productivity to early adopters, they can be adapted to, or adopted by, (over time) key influencers (important or big purchasers) and then the mainstream.

    The noise issue is also interesting. As productive as Scoble is (and he is extremely productive) he has to, if he agrees and wishes to, find a way to monetize/output his major brand to the degree that others (e.g. Arrington, Denton, Battelle, Huffington) have done. Within the right circles Scoble is as well (or more well) known, but he is a solo act (though he engages many in dialogue etc.). The noise factor can be one limiting factor in that regard. We need to cast a wide net in order to catch the important information and also to make sense of it when we have, but we also need the filters to increase efficiency and productivity. Arrington and Scoble are each strong personal brands (Calacanis would be another). But TechCrunch and Mahalo are businesses, while Scobleizer and FastCompany (Robert Scoble) TV are more mere extensions on a personal brand level. Arrington is not now, importantly, personally out trying each new thing — he started writing from that vein — but now importantly his TechCrunch writing staff does that!!

    In regard to Friendfeed features that may limit it’s growth, VC’s and other investors tend to bet on the management team even moreso than the product(s) involved, because the market is changing and evolving so quickly, that every company (some more than others) is in the process of morphing and change. The best people will have the greatest chance of winding up on top whether the market winds up, and smart investors realize this.

  27. Very thoughtful as usual. There is a well known saying, which I believe in, (and which I think applies generally here), that people overestimate change in the short term, but underestimate it in the long term.

    That is one reason why, for example, some startups advance a strategy or technology only to see a later big pocketed entrant scoop up that now created market and make the big profits.

    Think Dell Computer, as one example. They’re famous for waiting until strategies mature and then scooping in (as opposed to doing their own innovation). It’s how they keep their costs down (of course famously their direct model was another).

    In regard to the adoption of friendfeed, in the social network space, innovation is increasingly rapid. Witness how Google Friend Connect, Facebook Connect and MySpace’s offering all were announced in the same week.

    Bret Taylor, Paul B. et. all (up to 8 company employees last I heard) are extremely talented and driving innovation. If they can get significant funding (I’m not sure what the revenue stream for Friendfeed is planned to be, but with Page Views they can do advertising, search deals etc.) they can attempt going forward to be a competitor of note with those (currently much) larger competitors. Robert’s point of this post (one of them), that the space in which Friendfeed currently competes is circumscribed (limited) which limits their growth, is a good and interesting thesis, but perhaps fails to fully appreciate the evolving needs of users (past: who could ever need their own computer (maybe it would be useful only for recipes, etc.)! who needs to be online, who needs email!). Everything starts out geeky and has major hurdles (Geoffrey Moore Moore “Crossing The Chasm”) before going mainstream. Also referred to as “The Valley of Death”.

    Ultimately, if services add value and productivity to early adopters, they can be adapted to, or adopted by, (over time) key influencers (important or big purchasers) and then the mainstream.

    The noise issue is also interesting. As productive as Scoble is (and he is extremely productive) he has to, if he agrees and wishes to, find a way to monetize/output his major brand to the degree that others (e.g. Arrington, Denton, Battelle, Huffington) have done. Within the right circles Scoble is as well (or more well) known, but he is a solo act (though he engages many in dialogue etc.). The noise factor can be one limiting factor in that regard. We need to cast a wide net in order to catch the important information and also to make sense of it when we have, but we also need the filters to increase efficiency and productivity. Arrington and Scoble are each strong personal brands (Calacanis would be another). But TechCrunch and Mahalo are businesses, while Scobleizer and FastCompany (Robert Scoble) TV are more mere extensions on a personal brand level. Arrington is not now, importantly, personally out trying each new thing — he started writing from that vein — but now importantly his TechCrunch writing staff does that!!

    In regard to Friendfeed features that may limit it’s growth, VC’s and other investors tend to bet on the management team even moreso than the product(s) involved, because the market is changing and evolving so quickly, that every company (some more than others) is in the process of morphing and change. The best people will have the greatest chance of winding up on top whether the market winds up, and smart investors realize this.

  28. quote “Comments get fragmented, even inside FriendFeed. Why? Well, let’s say you write a really great blog post. You’ll get shared on tons of people’s Google Reader shared feeds. Some comments happen on Louis Gray’s FriendFeed. Some happen on mine. Others happen on Thomas Hawk’s. Still others happen on other people’s feeds. Everyone has their own audience which gets involved and now we have duplicate items all over the place (noise, and not the fun kind) and comment fragmentation.”

    well its called FRIENDfeed and not MASTERfeed. i enjoy that the conversation is limited to only the people im connected to. otherwise it would become IDONTCAREfeed

  29. quote “Comments get fragmented, even inside FriendFeed. Why? Well, let’s say you write a really great blog post. You’ll get shared on tons of people’s Google Reader shared feeds. Some comments happen on Louis Gray’s FriendFeed. Some happen on mine. Others happen on Thomas Hawk’s. Still others happen on other people’s feeds. Everyone has their own audience which gets involved and now we have duplicate items all over the place (noise, and not the fun kind) and comment fragmentation.”

    well its called FRIENDfeed and not MASTERfeed. i enjoy that the conversation is limited to only the people im connected to. otherwise it would become IDONTCAREfeed

  30. > 1. Only early adopters care about gluing together various
    > social networks like I do (look at the right side of my blog,
    > for instance, and you’ll see travel and schedule and events
    > and photos and videos and more all glued together).

    I don’t really care about social networks (I’ve cancelled many of them, and never used any particular for real purposes), yet I like Friendfeed… as a way to discover new links, to know what certain people read and find interesting, and to have discussions on these links.

    > FriendFeed brings tons of new noise to normal people,

    Yes, Friendfeed can add noise, but the great thing, you can ignore the noise any time by not logging in when you don’t feel like it. It’s not like an email client or an RSS reader where things pile up in unread status. At Friendfeed, no one expects you to reply to something either, unlike with email.

    Of course, if you don’t like new input, Friendfeed is not the site to go to, and it certainly currently focuses on “quick” input rather than slow, detailed one (e.g. the comment length restriction, if that is still in).

    > There isn’t one method of using these services. Some people just
    > want to see their closest friend’s baby photos. Other people,
    > like me, want to use these services like a chat room to talk
    > with large numbers of people about today’s hottest news.

    True, Friendfeed is good for many uses, and it can be different things to different people. Whether that’ll cause troubles in the long run, let’s see. Right now, it seems to be a bonus — it makes Friendfeed more customized, more flexible to what you want from it.

    > FriendFeed is frustrating to use even for advanced users. Here,
    > quickly, tell me how you can see only Flickr photos on FriendFeed
    > and block everything else.

    I find Friendfeed to have great usability, but I also think they have many things to improve and figure out yet. To see only Flickr photos I suppose you could click the Flickr icon next to an entry, which will open a new tab which you might bookmark, but I don’t know, I never wanted to do this, actually. I do want a better way to search for backlinks, though :)

    > It pisses bloggers off

    … some bloggers …

    Would be nice to have a ready-made widget to back integrate these comments though. Which may or may not be possible if we look at the issue of the next point…

    > Comments get fragmented, even inside FriendFeed.

    This is indeed a huge issue, I agree, and that this fragmentation is in a way the very best feature of Friendfeed (personal discussions), it’s also perhaps not easily solved.

  31. > 1. Only early adopters care about gluing together various
    > social networks like I do (look at the right side of my blog,
    > for instance, and you’ll see travel and schedule and events
    > and photos and videos and more all glued together).

    I don’t really care about social networks (I’ve cancelled many of them, and never used any particular for real purposes), yet I like Friendfeed… as a way to discover new links, to know what certain people read and find interesting, and to have discussions on these links.

    > FriendFeed brings tons of new noise to normal people,

    Yes, Friendfeed can add noise, but the great thing, you can ignore the noise any time by not logging in when you don’t feel like it. It’s not like an email client or an RSS reader where things pile up in unread status. At Friendfeed, no one expects you to reply to something either, unlike with email.

    Of course, if you don’t like new input, Friendfeed is not the site to go to, and it certainly currently focuses on “quick” input rather than slow, detailed one (e.g. the comment length restriction, if that is still in).

    > There isn’t one method of using these services. Some people just
    > want to see their closest friend’s baby photos. Other people,
    > like me, want to use these services like a chat room to talk
    > with large numbers of people about today’s hottest news.

    True, Friendfeed is good for many uses, and it can be different things to different people. Whether that’ll cause troubles in the long run, let’s see. Right now, it seems to be a bonus — it makes Friendfeed more customized, more flexible to what you want from it.

    > FriendFeed is frustrating to use even for advanced users. Here,
    > quickly, tell me how you can see only Flickr photos on FriendFeed
    > and block everything else.

    I find Friendfeed to have great usability, but I also think they have many things to improve and figure out yet. To see only Flickr photos I suppose you could click the Flickr icon next to an entry, which will open a new tab which you might bookmark, but I don’t know, I never wanted to do this, actually. I do want a better way to search for backlinks, though :)

    > It pisses bloggers off

    … some bloggers …

    Would be nice to have a ready-made widget to back integrate these comments though. Which may or may not be possible if we look at the issue of the next point…

    > Comments get fragmented, even inside FriendFeed.

    This is indeed a huge issue, I agree, and that this fragmentation is in a way the very best feature of Friendfeed (personal discussions), it’s also perhaps not easily solved.