Arrington Interviews Paul Buchheit

Michael Arrington has interviewed Paul Buchheit the FriendFeed co-founder.   This video gives some insight into the fate of FriendFeed.   FriendFeed was purchased recently by Facebook and the status of the small social network has been uncertain.

The FriendFeed community has been shocked and worried at first but seems to have rebounded with more optimism as of late.  This post by Louis Gray a prominent FriendFeed user had eased my fear and pessimism.

This interview although posing more questions and uncertainly does give this FriendFeed user a reason to have “a bit” more hope for FriendFeed’s future.

Declaring Your Social Media Independence

The Evolution of Social Media

I read an article this morning titled “The Evolution Of WordPress.”  WordPress is the fabulous CMS software that powers this blog.  Hack wordpress a great blog that I read was commenting on the changes and improvements the WordPress software has seen.

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

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.

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Subscriber’s Remorse

I sign up for almost every web application/service available. I try the alphas and the betas. I use OpenID or create logins. My GMail is crammed with automated emails. Many of the services add social networking features. I add some of the same friend’s on almost every service.

I have user accounts on hundreds of websites. I am not claiming to be in the top 1% of early adopters either. I would venture I am in the top 50%. Off the top of my head I have tried, Social Median, Profy, Toluu, FriendFeed, Diigo, TripSay, TradeVibes, Jott, Xoopit, Yokway, RememberTheMilk, Skribit, Woopra, Newscred, Socialthing, Plaxo, Plurk,, and MyBlogLog many many others all in the last 6 months.

OpenID is a good idea. We all could use one less username and password combination to remember. But once you are signed up for the service my questions begin.

My remorse centers around several questions.

  • When I sign up for a service who owns the data? Can I get data out that I put in? – The most annoying would have to be Facebook and their strangehold on user data. But generally I want the ability to export any data I put in.
  • How many annoying emails will I receive? Can I effectively opt out of them? – If a startup begins without some set small set of options for email notifications I contend it is doomed for failure.
  • Can I block users on the service? Can I import contacts from other services? – The Hide function on FriendFeed makes it one of the most useful applications around. Functionality that allows the end user to customize their experience even a little is a brilliant benefit.
  • How do I quit the service all together? – What if the service is just not for me. I do not ever want another email about it. I just want to quit and be assured my data is destroyed.
  • Is the application just a proof of concept? Is active development taking place? – Toluu is my greatest example of this. Toluu enhancements have been implemented and rolled out so quickly that there is no doubt that the application is in active development. Let me reiterate I understand the effort that scalability and keeping an application running takes. The development must continue and readily be seen by the end user.

Have you ever had subscriber’s remorse?

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