Obsessing about new news

Fred Wilson, a Venture Capitalist based in New York, writes this morning that he’s obsessed with TechMeme and that he’s noticing changes in his obsession (he’s moving more toward Twitter and other places for his news). Oh, I grok that. I used to be obsessed with TechMeme too. Now I’m just an average user, checking in every day or two (I used to check this page every 10 minutes). What happened?

FriendFeed. See, in February I wasn’t following anyone on FriendFeed and no one was following me. Now I’m following more than 4,000 hand-picked people. More than 21,000 are following me there today — that’s better growth than I got in the first nine months of being on Twitter, by far.

Some of my friends say I’m really stupid to stop spending so much time obsessing over TechMeme and blogging and to be spending so much time on FriendFeed and Twitter.

That might be so. But already my inbound news is more diverse AND faster than TechMeme and my outbound “Likes” and “Comment” feed is pretty damn good cause it includes all sorts of different data types. Quick, how often have you seen a video on TechMeme? I can’t remember the time. But video is a HUGE part of news today and video and photos are huge parts of the experience on FriendFeed. Especially live video. That shows up on FriendFeed, it doesn’t show up on TechMeme. Well, except when YouTube throws a big concert. Then you see the news stories about the concert, but you need to click through articles to see the live video.

Also, FriendFeed’s realtime features (as long as you have about 100 people you are following or more) really rock during news events, like during election night or a big earthquake.

Of course TechMeme’s Gabe Rivera, who follows all of our TechMeme obsession writings, replies back with ““Congrats to @fredwilson for discovering @scobleizer’s racket. You can claim you’re reading Techmeme less and less literally for years!”” Where did I see that? FriendFeed, of course. :-)

So, what do you think? Is the tech blogging news world moving toward TechMeme or away from it toward places like FriendFeed, Twitter, Reddit, YCombinator, or Stack Overflow? Is how you get your tech news different today than it was a year ago?

36 thoughts on “Obsessing about new news

  1. Robert, I am the face behind elitechoice.org and other gamut of blogs. I agree with you with the video accessibility that is more friendly at Friendfeed than TechMeme. And Twittter again is a real asset to network with friends.

    We are friends at Twitter, do add me to your list at Friendfeed.

    best
    zola

  2. Robert, I am the face behind elitechoice.org and other gamut of blogs. I agree with you with the video accessibility that is more friendly at Friendfeed than TechMeme. And Twittter again is a real asset to network with friends.

    We are friends at Twitter, do add me to your list at Friendfeed.

    best
    zola

  3. How I got my news a year ago was mainly from news.ycombinator.com with TechCrunch mixed in. I started to think TechCrunch wasn’t really for me anymore, and asked on news.yc where else I might go. ReadWriteWeb was recommended. I also learned about FriendFeed on news.yc. Now I get most of my news from news.yc and FriendFeed, including the ReadWriteWeb room on FriendFeed.

  4. How I got my news a year ago was mainly from news.ycombinator.com with TechCrunch mixed in. I started to think TechCrunch wasn’t really for me anymore, and asked on news.yc where else I might go. ReadWriteWeb was recommended. I also learned about FriendFeed on news.yc. Now I get most of my news from news.yc and FriendFeed, including the ReadWriteWeb room on FriendFeed.

  5. I still use Techmeme every day. But I used to hit the site maybe 50 times a day, now I might hit it once or twice. FriendFeed has taken traffic from literally every other service that I used to use. FriendFeed is far more efficient for browsing Flickr, for instance, than Flickr itself, ironically. You can also slice and dice your Flickr contacts with FriendFeed in ways that you can’t do on Flickr itself.

    As part of my obsession with FriendFeed I’ve also given up my RSS reader. For RSS feeds that I really care about where the blogger or site is not on FriendFeed already, I’ll just create “imaginary friends” on FriendFeed incorporating their blog or site.

    Friendfeed is probably the most revolutionary thing I’ve seen on the internet since YouTube. And it is especially good for getting the best of news and not just tech news. Socially filtered content is the future.

  6. I still use Techmeme every day. But I used to hit the site maybe 50 times a day, now I might hit it once or twice. FriendFeed has taken traffic from literally every other service that I used to use. FriendFeed is far more efficient for browsing Flickr, for instance, than Flickr itself, ironically. You can also slice and dice your Flickr contacts with FriendFeed in ways that you can’t do on Flickr itself.

    As part of my obsession with FriendFeed I’ve also given up my RSS reader. For RSS feeds that I really care about where the blogger or site is not on FriendFeed already, I’ll just create “imaginary friends” on FriendFeed incorporating their blog or site.

    Friendfeed is probably the most revolutionary thing I’ve seen on the internet since YouTube. And it is especially good for getting the best of news and not just tech news. Socially filtered content is the future.

  7. Using Stack Overflow as a venue of information in the “tech blogging news world”? Seriously? Now you’re just dropping names and buzzwords.

    It’s a forum for programming questions.

  8. Using Stack Overflow as a venue of information in the “tech blogging news world”? Seriously? Now you’re just dropping names and buzzwords.

    It’s a forum for programming questions.

  9. I’m still addicted to google reader (and your shared items) but I have been getting a lot of information through the TechMeme firehose on Twitter. I haven’t found a great way to sort through everything on FriendFeed yet. Do you just watch it “live” on FriendFeed’s own page?

  10. I’m still addicted to google reader (and your shared items) but I have been getting a lot of information through the TechMeme firehose on Twitter. I haven’t found a great way to sort through everything on FriendFeed yet. Do you just watch it “live” on FriendFeed’s own page?

  11. I remember the first time I encountered a feed reader, and I still get a lot of my news that way, but for me, Twitter is probably the main channel (I’m still getting into Friendfeed).

    It’s why I started a blog on microblogging (140char.com), having experienced finding news on Twitter such as Heath Ledger’s death, the UK earthquakes, the US and Chinese earthquakes etc before mainstream news channels or my feed list.

    And it comes filtered by the relevancy of friend recommendation, which is why I’ve never really used Digg or Techmeme as much as I could have done for news. It’s not the wisdom of crowds I’m after – it’s the wisdom of my own crowd…

  12. I remember the first time I encountered a feed reader, and I still get a lot of my news that way, but for me, Twitter is probably the main channel (I’m still getting into Friendfeed).

    It’s why I started a blog on microblogging (140char.com), having experienced finding news on Twitter such as Heath Ledger’s death, the UK earthquakes, the US and Chinese earthquakes etc before mainstream news channels or my feed list.

    And it comes filtered by the relevancy of friend recommendation, which is why I’ve never really used Digg or Techmeme as much as I could have done for news. It’s not the wisdom of crowds I’m after – it’s the wisdom of my own crowd…

  13. For a good while, I use to digest all my news through Google Reader, and read it often in case I missed a big story.

    Then I discovered Techmeme and that now enables me to relax a bit more. Even if I don’t catch it on GR, I’ll likely see it on Techmeme. Since then Friendfeed and Twitter are continuing to eat into my GR time, but Techmeme is still being used for the same purpose.

    That said, whilst GR is slowly losing out on my desktop, it reigns supreme on the Blackberry. As its no iPhone, its nice to have just the content with no frills (menus, graphics etc) that RSS provides.

  14. For a good while, I use to digest all my news through Google Reader, and read it often in case I missed a big story.

    Then I discovered Techmeme and that now enables me to relax a bit more. Even if I don’t catch it on GR, I’ll likely see it on Techmeme. Since then Friendfeed and Twitter are continuing to eat into my GR time, but Techmeme is still being used for the same purpose.

    That said, whilst GR is slowly losing out on my desktop, it reigns supreme on the Blackberry. As its no iPhone, its nice to have just the content with no frills (menus, graphics etc) that RSS provides.

  15. My experience is completely different. FriendFeed and Twitter require a lot effort to get me my news. RSS feeds and Techmeme do not in comparison, and they satisfy my news needs just fine.
    (I found this story through Techmeme btw)

  16. My experience is completely different. FriendFeed and Twitter require a lot effort to get me my news. RSS feeds and Techmeme do not in comparison, and they satisfy my news needs just fine.
    (I found this story through Techmeme btw)

  17. Jacob: oh, and the recommended page doesn’t work ANYTHING like when Allen Stern made his video. I just signed onto a new FriendFeed account that has no friends. The recommended page is totally blank. No recommended users. If I add someone who does not have me as a friend, you will NOT see me. You will only see the most popular people on that friend’s list. Also, even if that friend has me as a friend, I’m usually down on the list, not in top spot. Arrington and Calacanis and Laporte are higher up on the account I’m looking at. I have far more FriendFeed followers than any of those guys. I just saw you called me clueless over on Twitter. No, you sir are clueless. Don’t throw accusations until you really understand how things work. You have no clue about why I’m #1 on FriendFeed. When you figure it out, please let me know. Thanks!

  18. Jacob: oh, and the recommended page doesn’t work ANYTHING like when Allen Stern made his video. I just signed onto a new FriendFeed account that has no friends. The recommended page is totally blank. No recommended users. If I add someone who does not have me as a friend, you will NOT see me. You will only see the most popular people on that friend’s list. Also, even if that friend has me as a friend, I’m usually down on the list, not in top spot. Arrington and Calacanis and Laporte are higher up on the account I’m looking at. I have far more FriendFeed followers than any of those guys. I just saw you called me clueless over on Twitter. No, you sir are clueless. Don’t throw accusations until you really understand how things work. You have no clue about why I’m #1 on FriendFeed. When you figure it out, please let me know. Thanks!

  19. I agree with Robert on this one. My iGoogle home page has a column for Google Reader and a column for FriendFeed. I effectively treat FriendFeed as a second RSS reader alongside Google Reader. I still visit Techmeme but its rare that I need to click through on any stories because I’d already read about it from someone on FriendFeed.

    However, the value of Techmeme for me at least, has always been the cluster of commentary around its headlines. It’s one of the main reasons I visit Techmeme so many times throughout the day and FriendFeed has yet to change that. In fact, if a story is interesting enough on FriendFeed, I head to Techmeme to see who else is talking about it. And if that fails, Google Blog Search.

  20. I agree with Robert on this one. My iGoogle home page has a column for Google Reader and a column for FriendFeed. I effectively treat FriendFeed as a second RSS reader alongside Google Reader. I still visit Techmeme but its rare that I need to click through on any stories because I’d already read about it from someone on FriendFeed.

    However, the value of Techmeme for me at least, has always been the cluster of commentary around its headlines. It’s one of the main reasons I visit Techmeme so many times throughout the day and FriendFeed has yet to change that. In fact, if a story is interesting enough on FriendFeed, I head to Techmeme to see who else is talking about it. And if that fails, Google Blog Search.

  21. Jacob: that is absolutely not true. Mike Arrington is listed above me on the “recommended” list. He has far fewer followers on FriendFeed (even though he’s my #1 most “Liked and commented on” FriendFeed account). Why is that? You can’t explain that. We should have exactly the same numbers, or me, fewer, if the recommended list mattered much. Oh, and when I joined? I wasn’t on the recommended list at all.

  22. Jacob: that is absolutely not true. Mike Arrington is listed above me on the “recommended” list. He has far fewer followers on FriendFeed (even though he’s my #1 most “Liked and commented on” FriendFeed account). Why is that? You can’t explain that. We should have exactly the same numbers, or me, fewer, if the recommended list mattered much. Oh, and when I joined? I wasn’t on the recommended list at all.

  23. Robert, things are getting better b/c they are getting different. What a difference a year makes. Twitter and FF add to the convo, enhance discovery, enable a deeper, richer sharing. Cognitive diversity is a good thing.

  24. Robert, things are getting better b/c they are getting different. What a difference a year makes. Twitter and FF add to the convo, enhance discovery, enable a deeper, richer sharing. Cognitive diversity is a good thing.

  25. oh come on robert, you’re not still comparing your growth on twitter to that on friendfeed are you. don’t you remember you were the default recommended user on friendfeed that’s the reason you have experienced such “growth.” Friendfeed recommended new users to follow you (along with loic/etc). why don’t you watch the video allen from centernetworks made on this issue.

    i’d love friendfeed too if it recommended every single new user to follow me.

    J

  26. oh come on robert, you’re not still comparing your growth on twitter to that on friendfeed are you. don’t you remember you were the default recommended user on friendfeed that’s the reason you have experienced such “growth.” Friendfeed recommended new users to follow you (along with loic/etc). why don’t you watch the video allen from centernetworks made on this issue.

    i’d love friendfeed too if it recommended every single new user to follow me.

    J

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