It has been a while since I have posted. I have been working on several projects in my spare time. Most of my free time has been spent lately working on a WordPress theme from scratch and watching the Olympics. Michael Phelps is the man!
But, I have still been feed reading and staying up to date via FriendFeed. Jeff of Jeffisageek.netposted a great post about getting friendfeed to your website. In fact he went so far as to add it as the main content on his site.
I am against FriendFeed etiquette. Over the past few months I have seen several suggestions and discussions about “FriendFeed Etiquette.” I would characterize all incidents as innocent suggestions by users trying to solve small problems they were having with FriendFeed.
The first example I saw of this was Duncan Riley mentioning FriendFeed etiquette. He posted,
“Thinking FriendFeed Etiquette. Obviously duplication is an ongoing issue, but I think people purposely reposting links to content directly on FriendFeed moments after the original person has it up is poor form. Sharing is one thing, doing this intentionally for attention isn’t.”
Duncan Riley was seeing abuse was attempting to suggest a way to curb the abuse. He was seeing blatant duplication by a few “bad apples.”
“Proper etiquette on FriendFeed is making your feed valuable to subscribers. Part of this is not only sharing interesting links, but also making sure you’re not adding to the noise by subjecting them to the same post multiple times when you use aggregate posting services like Ping.FM.”
Like Duncan Riley, David Risley was simply seeing abuse of the system. He was seeing users posting duplicate content for personal gain.
“FriendFeed etiquette. Find the original blog post to “Like” when you see other users promote it.”
I am not the only dissenting opinion. The following was posted by David Knight in a response to Mark Krynsky,
“It’s a nice idea but that’s not a point of etiquette, you’re being nice to do that but it shouldn’t be a required code of conduct – it’s too much trouble and people won’t do it. Just enjoy the discussion that popped up wherever it is and bask in the attention and extra traffic that otherwise wouldn’t have existed.”
FriendFeed is a great service but is certainly not perfect. I want to mention the level of development by the FriendFeed development team has been outstanding.
Noisiness is probably the main issue for the young application. Hope is evident as that this will change soon.
FriendFeed user Michaelasked today, “Does friendfeed do post duplicate detection yet?” A comment by Bret Taylor indicates exactly their intentions as he stated,
“No, we don’t yet. But the engineer next to me is working on it”
But an informal Etiquette is not the answer even for the short term.
The FriendFeed Herd
A herd mentality can become a terrible thing. I am worried about the slippery slope of the herd judging user behavior. Self policing can be great. A good community though can go bad in a hurry. I was a active Digg user in the early going. The community did change.
Former Digg users: What about Digg made you leave?
One user responded mentioning “Problem 1 – The cliques Problem.” As a casual Digg user I could easily see the power of the cliques. The top users on Digg still are the leaders of the herd. The system is controlled by the herd and more specifically the small herds in the form of powerful cliques.
FriendFeed has had a much different feel. FriendFeed has been well pretty friendly.
There will always be bad apples in every bunch. Although sad and a shame the inevitability of people abusing a service and ruining things for everyone seems to be a social networking fact.
“…how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items.”
The point is that etiquette although well intentioned risks moving further. It would certainly be easy for cliques to grow strong like Digg. Then what is stopping the cliques from making their own rules.
I do not want the FriendFeed herd to become an angry “unfriendly” mob.
Down with the Etiquette
Battle of Bosworth 1485
FriendFeed is social networking. FriendFeed is sharing, learning, exploring, and experiencing new things. FriendFeed is about community but ultimately letting each user have there own experience. Each user can and should have the freedom to choose their own experience.
FriendFeed is also about community. The developers have given users great tools for self policing.
The Hide and Block functions are the appropriate means for eliminating noise and removing the bad apples from your stream. For more on the Hide function see this Louis Gray post.
Since FriendFeed is friendly let’s keep it that way.
Down with the etiquette and down with rules for each user. FriendFeed is in active development and the problems that etiquette seem to help with will not be around forever. Etiquette is not a noise solution. I fear it a rolling boulder that will snowball as it speeds down the FriendFeed mountain. The friendly place would be ruined.
User freedom should not be encroached upon. I am for user independence.
Down with FriendFeed etiquette! Long Live The User! Viva La FriendFeed!
In the same way the advances in Social media are dramatic. Systems, methods, and technologies that many rely on were not around or were in infant stages just 5 years ago. 5 years in technology terms is a enormous amount of time but in the real world 5 years is a blink of an eye. The web as we know it has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. Its modern inception is only a mere 15 years or so old.
Web applications have given this ‘have it now crowd’ nearly instant gratification. I have commented before that I am amazed at the feature development of some of the current Web apps. Just bursting into prominence in the last 6 months or so FriendFeed and Toluu continually wow me with enhancements.
Social Media Addiction
Do you remember life before a cell phone? Perhaps the cell phone era is difficult to remember we have come to rely on them so heavily. Now when I leave my cell phone at home despite $4 a gallon gas prices I turn the car around and go back for the phone.
I think many of us have the same thoughts about social media. We have become so attached to Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, and any other social media application that application failure is devastating.
The twitter addicts have been hunting all over for a place to get their fix. They have stirred the blogosphere into a buzz over start-ups like Plurk and identi.ca.
The twitter addicts seem to have become attached to Twitter in the same way they are attached to power, water, and other necessities of life. They seem to be the most rabid. But I venture to say that Gmail, FriendFeed, or Google Reader went down in the way twitter has I would be equally as frantic. Social media addiction is prominent.
Declare Your Independence
I challenge you to declare your independence from Social media at least for some period of time. Declaring your independence will assist you in breaking your cycle of addiction. This should assist in the event that your favorite application goes down or becomes unreliable. So take a break from social media.
Perhaps we should stop for a minute and smell the fresh air. It is summertime. We should take a break and get outdoors. We could take our families on vacation. I recently saw a user friendfeeding on vacation from the beach. This flickr image appeared in the friendfeed stream posted from the beach. Could the addiction be anymore evident? No friendfeeding or twittering during family time. Take a break so you can appreciate and enjoy social media later.
Louis Gray recently wrote his feelings about the stages of an early adopter. Early adopters may be fickle at times but many are currently on the same page it seems in love with the lifestreaming service FriendFeed. I admit FriendFeed is the place to be in my opinion.
FriendFeed is currently the hangout du jour for early adopters. But the broad early adopter appeal for FriendFeed goes far beyond mere lifestreaming. The service has become a place for community, a sounding board, a peer hangout, an industry watercooler, and certainly many more things.
As a result FriendFeed is being used as a place for research, analysis, and early adopter community feeling on many social media issues.
Early Adopters are the heavy social media users of the Web 2.0 products. Start up developers like Toluu founder Caleb Elston are able to use Twitter, FriendFeed, and a specific FriendFeed Toluu room as an avenue for user feedback, feelings, and product appeal.
With a community freely giving feedback an opportunity exists via the web that previously did not. Web 2.0 start-ups can gain valuable user opinions earlier in the development cycle with no cost to the start-up by utilizing a social network like FriendFeed.
Blog Post Material
From the obvious department let me just state: If you need a blog post idea hop on over to FriendFeed. The conversation is on every topic and you can begin the conversation yourself.
Many have taken conversations that occurred on FriendFeed and expounded upon the conversation to become detailed blog posts. This is good. Fractured conversation on FriendFeed is often conversation that would have never taken place otherwise and leads to more content.
In the realm of gathering research many are using FriendFeed for direct research by temperature taking the early adopters. I am seeing this practice grow. Mike Fruchter in particular has used the discussion for later blog post material.
I have seen him ask direct questions on several occasions directly in what I would describe as a user polling temperature taking method.
This is a fabulous concept. If you have a group of people that have similar interests all in the same place it certainly is a good opportunity to ask them a question. Asking a question like this one:
“Research post – What are your dislikes about del.icio.us? What features is del.icio.us lacking?”
This was asked today by Mike Fruchter and generated beneficial discussion to Mike for post research but could potentially be great feedback for the del.icio.us team. It also was very beneficial to other users like me who might want to weigh and measure a product like del.icio.us against its competitors.
I commented the following in the middle of the conversation to Mike: “I like the way you have been using FriendFeed for research and early adopter temperatures. It is a good idea.” His response:
“@Franklin thanks. Friendfeed has truly become a powerful research tool, in some aspects more powerful then Google. It’s amazing watching this rapid transformation take place.”
I agree with him the power of FriendFeed as a research tool is astounding. The current merit, usefulness, and value of FriendFeed seems to be nearly boundless with potential appearing limitless as well. Early adopter temperature taking is just another benefit of the simple but complex addictive life-streaming service FriendFeed.