FriendFeed Noise Solutions

I read a post today titled “Proposal to Clean Up the FriendFeed Clutter” by Hutch Carpenter. It clearly outlines some of the noise problems with FriendFeed.

I have seen the need for change to the FriendFeed stream for weeks now. The problem in a nutshell is that the same link appears over and over as it is submitted to multiple services by multiple users. One destination but many entries in my stream.

The stream is noisy. Some may like it noisy but I would like it to be quieter.

I first discussed the multiple link problem in conjunction with what I called ‘The FriendFeed Disjointed Comments Problem.” The same links clog the stream over and over. My point was that many different places for comments existed. Every entry that existed had the potential for comments and conversation. But comments are a different issue. For more on the comments problem see Comments Floating in the Blogosphere.

Mr. Carpenter gives 2 possibilities for how the data could be presented to eliminate noise in the stream.

  1. Person-centric: if a user has the same feed more than once, the same-link feeds are aggregated together under a common link for the user
  2. Link-centric: all same-link feeds for all friends appear under a common link

I am in favor of the Link-centric approach. This has already been coined the “techmeme way.” Some including Corvida are against it.

Bret Taylor of FriendFeed has already commented on Mr. Carpenter’s post saying:

“Great ideas… We have been thinking through these issues as well, and it is great to see such detail and mockups.”

I agree Mr. Carpenter’s article certainly gives food for thought.

My point is let the user decide. The data being presented can be displayed in several different ways. How about giving the user several different ways to customize their stream. Person-centric, Link-centric, the current approach, and many other ways could be developed.

It would be great for FriendFeed to implement several and let the user decide how they want to view their stream.

Beta Feedback should be much easier

Feedback in the form of BETA bug reporting and feature requesting should be EASY on all BETA sites. Everything is BETA and a work in progress when it is first released. One thing I continually notice as I register and try site after site is the lack of continuity in methods to give feedback.

It should be easy to fill out a bug report or feature request. Lately I have found it simply difficult to find any help or documentation. Ok granted if it is in private beta sometimes the web app is just beyond proof of concept. However if the application wishes to ever move beyond its current state feedback from its user base is a must.

For example, on FriendFeed the other day I found a problem with the feed updating correctly. I looked around on the FriendFeed site and could NOT easily find a place for feedback. (There is a link in an older post on the FriendFeed blog.) I opened a second tab and googled “FriendFeed Feedback” and quickly found the google Discussion group.

The point is that was too hard. Way to hard. If I have to search for the place to give feedback I probably will not give any. Unless I just love the app I will not go that far. In this case I blog posted “Are feeds broken on FriendFeed?” and Louis Gray quickly responded to my post and eventually found the answer.

But I am not picking on FriendFeed. It seems that in the haste to bring out a web app that is the next big thing startups forget the basics. Contact information and Feedback should be no brainers and mandatory.

Toluu another favorite new app of mine is just the same. No clear feedback point.

The point is any new web app public beta, private beta, or even alpha should make feedback quick and easy. I suggest a link at the bottom of each page. At the very least a prominently placed permanent link on the App’s blog to the feedback system.

This may seem like a small detail but should be demanded by users.

Well this user demands it.

Who does this well? Who doesn’t?

Are Updates Broken on FriendFeed?

Are Updates Broken on FriendFeed? I saved a link on Sunday night and noticed that in had not shown up in my FriendFeed.

I noticed this last week when Louis Gray linked to my post “The FriendFeed Disjointed Comments Problem.” I noticed then that it was not in his friendfeed.

Stay tuned for updates I will try to find out what is going on…

UPDATE: Louis Gray has pointed out that if you delete and re-add it on your FriendFeed it will work.


FriendFeed is Awesome but….

FriendFeed is all the rage. I am trying it of course. I am not so interested in Lifestreaming as having many sites information all in one place. It is an aggregator. Aggregation is a time saver. Really that is what Google Reader is all about. A feed reader is just aggregating content. The inline commenting in FriendFeed is very cool. The new conversation aspect is cool. The post back to twitter is cool too. FriendFeed is a cool site and must for now. I like FriendFeed.

But everyday I read another article about how to deal with information glut. Today I read an article about the lack of new content. Scoble mentioned how blogging had changed since last year. The point is that new content is hard to find.

What’s next? I dunno but it will be called by some catch phrase buzz word. Not sure what it will be called and I know it does not matter. What’s next for feed reading and for information processing? Not sure who has the answer. One would think it would be Google. Not a bunch of former Googlers. In any case I am tired of the baby steps but such is life.

I am confident that 5 years from now progress will win out and we will read and disseminate what is important to us and leave the rest.

This directly has to do with what I call 10 minute time. I have a half written post about 10 minute time saved as a draft. In a nutshell I want to spend 10 minutes and read what is important and interesting to me. I only want to spend 10 minutes. My life is not the web. The web is great and I hope the future will hold the answer to this information overload.

By the way this post is not new content either just an observation to be recorded on this day.