All Web 2.0 applications do at least one of two things:
- Create Content
- Organize Content
Applications that create content (Twitter, blogs, Flickr) have become so numerous that it is now necessary to organize that content in an efficient manner. RSS has done wonders for syndicating blogs, and there are a large number of ways to organize tweets.
When I first heard of Friend Feed, I saw it as an intuitive way to organize content. Friend Feed’s About page (and some bloggers) tout it initially as the same thing. I like what co-founder Bret Taylor says in an interview on Jeremiah Owyang’s blog about what makes Friend Feed special:
The challenge is that much of the content that is created is noise to many, but signal to very few. You may not care what Michelle eats for dinner, but her immediate sisters absolutely do. With this micro conversations happening on many websites, we need to organize this content not around websites, tools or technologies, but instead …sorted by people.
I’m not so sure if I agree that we need to organize content around people, but it is certainly convenient to organize a feed around what a person, or even an organization, does with social media in one place, especially if I’m doing research on a client for an account. (Or, on an organization on the Internet.)
In my excitement about Friend Feed, I payed no attention to another useful aspect of Friend Feed: “It’s also fast and easy to start discussions around shared items” (taken from their About page). Then I saw this tweet from Robert Scoble about how he would be discussing energy on Friend Feed. No matter where he discussed energy that night, everything he said was aggregated on his Friend Feed page. Much of what he did was available for comment, even his tweets.
In short, Friend Feed pastes the pieces of conversations that Web 2.0 applications tear apart. It helps cut through the noise that applications that produce content can (and often times do) generate. It does it in a way that makes keeping the conversation convenient. And while it’s not the RSS feed to end all other RSS feeds (what about when you want to organize feeds by topics?), it’s darn convenient.
Check out my Friend Feed account.