Jason Falls

Jason Falls

For the longest time I have had a rather eye-rolling reaction when people mention FriendFeed. The life streaming service certainly has its merits and aggregating all of your social activity into one place is a nice function. However, using FriendFeed as your primary place of interaction constricts the number of people you can interact with (not everyone uses FriendFeed), while conversely, avoiding FriendFeed means it becomes an impersonal, automated broadcaster of what you do.

I’ve always hated the fact people could comment on a Social Media Explorer post repositioned on FriendFeed.  And, unless I log in and monitor each post, I’d never know. Several application developers and companies have fixed that problem by aggregating comments into one place. Backtype does it. Disqus claims to, though their unification functionality doesn’t seem to work on my blog. There are also plugins you can download that will integrate FriendFeed comments with those from your blog as well.

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

But I must remember that each individual uses these applications in the ways that make the most sense to them. Just because Jason Falls doesn’t use it, doesn’t mean it might be useful for you.

Enter Laurence Borel, or Lolly to those of us who know her. Lolly, the author of Blog Till You Drop, and I met and chatted all afternoon Saturday about a variety of topics. When FriendFeed came up and she saw my eye roll, Lolly explained to me how she gets value out of the service.

Following someone on FriendFeed allows you a more holistic representation of their social media activity. It’s more than just following someone’s blog. You follow their life, in a sense. But most people follow anyone they know or those who follows them, etc. Lolly has decided to use the tool much more strategically. She is very selective in who she follows so that she only sees what the most important or influential people to her are reading, sharing, saying and writing. It’s kind of a super personalized, all-inclusive RSS feed for just those you consider important enough to follow.

She is using the service not as another social network, not as a conversation point, but as a utility to help her know what her thought leader list is doing or up to. This cuts out a great deal of noise in Lolly’s day. She gets more impactful information easier and with less hassle. She also cuts down on a lot of RSS feeds and time spent browsing her feed reader as now the most important blogs and information are available on FriendFeed. She can read her feeds with a lesser priority.

Lolly also reports FriendFeed offers a much more meaningful level of search for public relations and blogger relations folks because it’s scanning the most important people to you, not everyone. You could use FriendFeed and this influencer tracking methodoligy to identify other blogs and bloggers worth adding to your list.

So I was proven wrong about FriendFeed by my own theory. Everyone uses the tools differently. Those who optimize them to produce the outcomes and payoffs they need most are those that can call themselves, “successful,” in using them.

This theory goes for other applications as well. The way I use Twitter may not be right for you, your company, etc. The way Ernst & Young uses Facebook may not make sense for your company. You have to find an appropriate way to use each tool and it will likely differ from those around you.

How do you use FriendFeed? Set it up as an influencer monitoring model and share some questions, comments or concerns you might have with the outcomes. Can you discipline yourself to only follow 10-20 people on FriendFeed or is the temptation to grow another network too much? Are there other uses not even mentioned here we should let others know about? And what about your approach to Twitter? Facebook? Blogging? Do you do it differently than the norm? If so, how and why.

As always, the comments are yours.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Pingback: SearchCap: The Day In Search, May 19, 2009

  • http://www.costadevault.com/blog Heather Whaling

    Well, that's a very helpful perspective. I was like you — didn't quite grasp the whole FF thing. But, I really like Lolly's approach. Maybe I'll start out that way to get used to it and then branch out from there …

    Thanks for sharing a different way of using the tool.

    Heather (@prtini)

  • http://www.costadevault.com/blog Heather Whaling

    Well, that's a very helpful perspective. I was like you — didn't quite grasp the whole FF thing. But, I really like Lolly's approach. Maybe I'll start out that way to get used to it and then branch out from there …

    Thanks for sharing a different way of using the tool.

    Heather (@prtini)

  • http://www.costadevault.com/blog Heather Whaling

    Well, that's a very helpful perspective. I was like you — didn't quite grasp the whole FF thing. But, I really like Lolly's approach. Maybe I'll start out that way to get used to it and then branch out from there …

    Thanks for sharing a different way of using the tool.

    Heather (@prtini)

  • http://www.costadevault.com/blog Heather Whaling

    Well, that's a very helpful perspective. I was like you — didn't quite grasp the whole FF thing. But, I really like Lolly's approach. Maybe I'll start out that way to get used to it and then branch out from there …

    Thanks for sharing a different way of using the tool.

    Heather (@prtini)

  • http://www.theviralgarden.com/ Mack Collier

    This is exactly why I always seek out people that are very adept at using a particular social tool (esp ones I don't use much), and have them show me how they use that tool. It took 6 months before I really 'got' Twitter, and that's mainly because I kept asking people 'what do you get out of Twitter? How are you using it?'

    The 'experts' in this space are the ones that keep asking questions, and keep trying to learn. And don't let Lolly fool you, she's def a social media guru ;)

  • http://www.theviralgarden.com/ Mack Collier

    This is exactly why I always seek out people that are very adept at using a particular social tool (esp ones I don't use much), and have them show me how they use that tool. It took 6 months before I really 'got' Twitter, and that's mainly because I kept asking people 'what do you get out of Twitter? How are you using it?'

    The 'experts' in this space are the ones that keep asking questions, and keep trying to learn. And don't let Lolly fool you, she's def a social media guru ;)

  • http://www.theviralgarden.com/ Mack Collier

    This is exactly why I always seek out people that are very adept at using a particular social tool (esp ones I don't use much), and have them show me how they use that tool. It took 6 months before I really 'got' Twitter, and that's mainly because I kept asking people 'what do you get out of Twitter? How are you using it?'

    The 'experts' in this space are the ones that keep asking questions, and keep trying to learn. And don't let Lolly fool you, she's def a social media guru ;)

  • http://www.theviralgarden.com/ Mack Collier

    This is exactly why I always seek out people that are very adept at using a particular social tool (esp ones I don't use much), and have them show me how they use that tool. It took 6 months before I really 'got' Twitter, and that's mainly because I kept asking people 'what do you get out of Twitter? How are you using it?'

    The 'experts' in this space are the ones that keep asking questions, and keep trying to learn. And don't let Lolly fool you, she's def a social media guru ;)

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thanks Lolly. And thanks for continuing to blog your heart out. Love your work and glad I know you.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thanks Lolly. And thanks for continuing to blog your heart out. Love your work and glad I know you.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thanks Lolly. And thanks for continuing to blog your heart out. Love your work and glad I know you.

  • http://stock.web.id/ Ketut

    Cool

  • http://stock.web.id/ Ketut

    Cool

  • http://stock.web.id/ Ketut

    Cool

  • http://stock.web.id/ Ketut

    Cool

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ AdamPieniazek

    The big thing that's preventing me from utilizing Friend Feed the way Lolly does is that I imported a bunch of my contacts from twitter, facebook and elsewhere and set them up in non-sensical groups. I'm fiending for a bulk move tool that allows me to easily move contacts to new groups.

    Also, you're not the only one with issues with the Disqus social media reactions. I've yet to see it actually pull in any external comments (even though I know for a fact they're out there). I roll with backtype which is nice but doesn't access as many sources as I'd like.

    I'd love to know how the Scobleizer manages his FF contacts. Wonder if he's got some tool to do bulk moves or if he just took enough time one day to get everything nice and organized.

    • http://scobleizer.com/ Robert Scoble

      I have been using FriendFeed for 16 months now and spend some time everyday on friend management. Most of my friends have been hand added.

      • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ AdamPieniazek

        Ah, figured as much Robert. Guess I'll have to sit down and clean up my friendfeed by one by one, one of these days. Thanks for letting us know.

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ AdamPieniazek

    The big thing that's preventing me from utilizing Friend Feed the way Lolly does is that I imported a bunch of my contacts from twitter, facebook and elsewhere and set them up in non-sensical groups. I'm fiending for a bulk move tool that allows me to easily move contacts to new groups.

    Also, you're not the only one with issues with the Disqus social media reactions. I've yet to see it actually pull in any external comments (even though I know for a fact they're out there). I roll with backtype which is nice but doesn't access as many sources as I'd like.

    I'd love to know how the Scobleizer manages his FF contacts. Wonder if he's got some tool to do bulk moves or if he just took enough time one day to get everything nice and organized.

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ AdamPieniazek

    The big thing that's preventing me from utilizing Friend Feed the way Lolly does is that I imported a bunch of my contacts from twitter, facebook and elsewhere and set them up in non-sensical groups. I'm fiending for a bulk move tool that allows me to easily move contacts to new groups.

    Also, you're not the only one with issues with the Disqus social media reactions. I've yet to see it actually pull in any external comments (even though I know for a fact they're out there). I roll with backtype which is nice but doesn't access as many sources as I'd like.

    I'd love to know how the Scobleizer manages his FF contacts. Wonder if he's got some tool to do bulk moves or if he just took enough time one day to get everything nice and organized.

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ AdamPieniazek

    The big thing that's preventing me from utilizing Friend Feed the way Lolly does is that I imported a bunch of my contacts from twitter, facebook and elsewhere and set them up in non-sensical groups. I'm fiending for a bulk move tool that allows me to easily move contacts to new groups.

    Also, you're not the only one with issues with the Disqus social media reactions. I've yet to see it actually pull in any external comments (even though I know for a fact they're out there). I roll with backtype which is nice but doesn't access as many sources as I'd like.

    I'd love to know how the Scobleizer manages his FF contacts. Wonder if he's got some tool to do bulk moves or if he just took enough time one day to get everything nice and organized.

  • http://totallyincorrect.com/ David

    I'd tended to avoid FriendFeed as well – more than enough social media sites to worry about already :-)

    Anyroad, after readying your post I decided to check it out again and I can see (I think!) that it might well be a time saver rather than waster.

    Thank you for writing about this.

  • http://totallyincorrect.com/ David

    I'd tended to avoid FriendFeed as well – more than enough social media sites to worry about already :-)

    Anyroad, after readying your post I decided to check it out again and I can see (I think!) that it might well be a time saver rather than waster.

    Thank you for writing about this.

  • http://totallyincorrect.com/ David

    I'd tended to avoid FriendFeed as well – more than enough social media sites to worry about already :-)

    Anyroad, after readying your post I decided to check it out again and I can see (I think!) that it might well be a time saver rather than waster.

    Thank you for writing about this.

  • http://totallyincorrect.com/ David

    I'd tended to avoid FriendFeed as well – more than enough social media sites to worry about already :-)

    Anyroad, after readying your post I decided to check it out again and I can see (I think!) that it might well be a time saver rather than waster.

    Thank you for writing about this.

  • Pingback: Labeling News on FriendFeed » Labeling News

  • http://scobleizer.com/ Robert Scoble

    I have been using FriendFeed for 16 months now and spend some time everyday on friend management. Most of my friends have been hand added.

  • http://scobleizer.com/ Robert Scoble

    I have been using FriendFeed for 16 months now and spend some time everyday on friend management. Most of my friends have been hand added.

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ AdamPieniazek

    Ah, figured as much Robert. Guess I'll have to sit down and clean up my friendfeed by one by one, one of these days. Thanks for letting us know.

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ AdamPieniazek

    Ah, figured as much Robert. Guess I'll have to sit down and clean up my friendfeed by one by one, one of these days. Thanks for letting us know.

  • huangqin
  • Pingback: aimClear’s 2009 Daily Training Link Library » aimClear Search Marketing Blog

  • http://www.gpgsolar.com.au/ GPG Solar

    Good but there are more issues about FF