New Feedly combines Google Reader, friendfeed, Twitter in great way for social network addicts

Edwin Khodabakchian founder of Feedly yesterday showed me why Feedly is cool (I recorded him telling me about what makes Feedly special and demoing these new features): it combines inputs from Google Reader, friendfeed, twitter, and elsewhere to make an interesting news display, but now it also — as you surf around the web — shows you if there’s a conversation about that blog post on friendfeed. You can read more about Feedly’s new features on its blog.

What is Feedly? It’s an addon to the Firefox browser that aggregates your sharing behavior together into a page and then adds a little bar to the bottom of pages that gives you more sharing and comparing features about that page.

It also is like a little StumbleUpon — if you keep clicking “next” in the little toolbar it’ll take you to another cool site your friends have recommended to you.

This is all crack to someone like me who lives on social networking sites all the time and wants to keep up to date on the conversation that is happening over on friendfeed about items.

But that’s also its downfall. How many people are like me? Not many. Do many people, when they are visiting a web page, wonder what the conversation about that page is? Nah.

And, if you see my Feedly page you’ll see it really is awesome. A good, quick, summary of today’s latest news. I think it’s better than Techmeme or TechFuga because it’s based on my friends and the feeds I’ve subscribed to on Google Reader.

See in Google Reader I have almost 1,000 people who are scouring the Internet for interesting new stuff and are sharing it with me. That is like having 1,000 editors working for you. It makes for a news page that’s quite interesting and amazing.

The problem? How many people have 1,000 friends in Google Reader? Not many.

Two strikes.

That’s why I say Feedly is ahead of its time. At least with friendfeed you can see what someone else’s experience is like, even if you don’t have any friends. I hope Feedly will move in that direction so everyone can see what Louis Gray’s friends are bringing him, for instance.

But, in the meantime, Feedly is very interesting to me and it has been added to my morning news reading.

Read/Write Web has a good article on the new features as well.

While blogging in crisis job #1 is listening

Every blogger can bloviate and tell you what he or she sees happening. But I’m noticing a trend among bloggers. Very few listen. I read hundreds of bloggers on a regular basis, along with many thousands who are brought into my view via TechMeme and my hundreds of Google Reader friends.

How many actually are actively seeking out the opinions of others and trying to bring those to their readers. I can tell you how many: almost none.

How many have a Google Reader Shared Items feed like the one I have done for years? A few. Louis Gray is amongst the ones I read often and regularly, but despite a few exceptions here and there very few of the “top bloggers” do that.

How many aggregate thousands of people’s tweets, blogs, photos, videos together and go through and tell you which ones are best like I’ve done every day on FriendFeed since I joined in February? A few do, hello Louis Gray again, but not enough of the top bloggers.

So, if we’re really in an economic crisis (we are, despite the stock market going up 600 points so far today) how can bloggers really be knowledgeable if they don’t read other people’s blogs and prove that over and over and over again by using these tools to demonstrate what they are reading?

Why do I think that’s so important? Well, for balance, for one thing. You saw some people thought I was too negative last week. But if you had looked at EVERYTHING I was putting into this system and reading and writing and doing videos on you would have seen a much more balanced and nuanced view of the world.

I assume my audience is smart and wants to see the world through many viewpoints. I hope you are reading these feeds because there are some damn cool things going through the system and these are my ways of highlighting them and making us all smarter in this time.

Also note that I overlink to people who disagree with me. Why do I do that? Because in these times it’s too easy to buy into your own press releases and start believing you have all the answers. In these times it’s even MORE important to consider the other side, whether we’re talking about the economy or politics.

But maybe I’m alone in that view, it sure seems not many bloggers are willing to show you what inputs they are reading and what’s informing their judgment.