Behold the aggregator with the mostest: FriendFeed! After using this service since it’s earliest public beta, I have grown to enjoy the efficiency of FriendFeed for discovering new content as well as keeping track of friends and those I follow online. Here’s a quick rundown of how I use the beast.
Conversation is King
The first thing I do when I fire up FriendFeed, either on my iPhone or via browser, is click on the “Me” link, then the “Comments + Likes” tab, and finally the “Comments” link to show only comments I’ve made on entries. I look to see if anyone has responded to my comments. For the time being, human interaction trumps information consumption for me, so any dialogue happening on FF is where I like to start.
Next up, I check out the “Me” page to see if anybody has posted a comment or liked my entries, since that’s another place dialogue can occur. If I don’t know a person who has commented or liked my items, I’ll check out their account to see if there’s value for me there.
Here’s something great about FF: you can respond to tweets on FF and post it back to Twitter. If the recipient is on FF, they can keep commenting on the original FF entry and you can then see the thread compiled in one place. Twitter is really crappy for following a conversation thread, so FF can help there.
Sifting For Gold
I then proceed to my lists. I’ve got a list called “Best” for people I actually know that I want to filter out of the noise and interact with. A note on liking: I like liberally! If I enjoy the entry, I like it. If I want to save it for later, I like it. I never go back and un-like. This is drive-by interaction - it’s all about speed consumption.
I’ve got a list for django community folks called “Djangos” - the idea there is to filter out users who post content specific to a topic I’m interested in. This makes for easier reading and also helps me catch links, tweets, and posts about my favorite subjects.
My “Good” list is just one level of filtering on my “Home” feed, which contains all those I subscribe to.
How I Learned to Love My Noisy Friends
My last list is for “Noisy Friends”! These are the people who blow up my twitter feed with tweets every hour or more. I’ve taken to unfollowing them on Twitter and pulling thier tweets into FF. Then I can scan their tweets at the end of the day to look for value beyond knowing what kind of sandwich they ate for lunch.
I get so much more out of my twitter feed on my iPhone by filtering out my noisy friends. (Note: if Twitter added lists/groups, I could do this directly over there; tweetdeck works as a desktop app solution, but i’ve seen no solutions for iPhone yet.)
We Are Information Junkies
When I’ve got time, I’ll dive into my lists, which again are topics I’m interested in or just general discovery points, like funny design links or beta invite trackers, etc.
I’ll dive into my “Home” feed or even “Everyone” when I’m bored or hungry for random new content.
If I’m looking for content regarding a specific person or subject, I’ll use FF’s excellent search functionality. FF search defaults to searching only those you subscribe to, so I almost always add, “who:everyone” to my search query to get a better result.
Got any good FF tips? How do you use it? Subscribe to me here!
Update: Don’t forget to search for FF rooms that might bring you new information specific to your interests.
- bryanlanders posted this