Mike Arrington is right. I am addicted to friendfeed and it’s very difficult to pry myself away from it and do a more serious blog. I now have 15,300 reasons why I am so addicted.
It is called “Like.” But clicking “Like” doesn’t mean I actually like that item. It means I want YOU to see it.
People ask me why so many people follow me. (26,000 on friendfeed, 50,000 on Twitter, 5,000 on Facebook).
This is why: I shine my flashlight on other people. So far in the past 11 months I’ve done it 15,300 times.
Most other A list bloggers that you know never even try to link out and tell their readers about other people doing great work this way.
Some things I’ve learned?
1. I’m more likely to share items from people I’ve met face-to-face. Why? There’s a social reciprocity aspect to it. If I’ve met you at a conference I know you a little more reliably than other people I haven’t met.
2. There is some overlap with TechMeme because I have similar interests but my likes tend to be far smaller stories than will ever get onto TechMeme. Things that will make you smarter, but aren’t big news items that’ll attract a lot of links. Things like Tim Ferriss’ post about how to learn any language in three months.
3. More “independent” voices make it onto my list than onto TechMeme.
4. I like racing TechMeme. Often I can beat it with a like by half an hour or more. But lots of times it beats me. Which, brings me to #5.
5. I don’t get nervous anymore about missing things. Why? Because I am following 13,000 people on friendfeed and they will keep bringing back important things. Plus, important things get onto TechFuga and TechMeme. I call my behavior “media snacking.” If I have time I’ll snack on different stuff from around the Internet.
6. After I like something I can see how other people respond to it, so I can refactor my likes. If people hate a like, or tell me I messed up, I will use that info in future likes.
7. Likes are searchable. If I search for someone’s name on the Everyone tab anything they’ve liked will come up in the search. Which brings me to the next item.
8. Likes are metadata that improves the original item. How? Well, for instance, in friendfeed I can hide all Tweets that don’t have a like. That makes finding interesting tweets DRAMATICALLY easier.
9. By having all my 26,000 followers on friendfeed see the items I like (it puts them into their view) I find that I am getting to know my followers in a much more intimate way than if we just tweeted at each other. On a separate page you can see all the items I’ve commented on, to see this in action.
10. Likes can overwhelm people. I am liking about 700 things a week. Many people just can’t deal with that flow (and it gets far worse the more people you follow on friendfeed). That’s why I say on friendfeed it is hugely important to be very careful who you follow. I recommend putting noisy likers like me into a separate list, which will help you get more value out of us.
What do you think? Does this behavior help you? Or do you think it’s lame?