FriendFeed, value, and … on Gillmor Gang

The May 30th Gillmor Gang is all about FriendFeed and it’s one of the best I’ve heard.

http://gillmorgang.techcrunch.com/2008/05/31/gillmor-gang-053008/

Why FriendFeed Matters

Bret Taylor of FriendFeed makes the point that different people use different tools, and that’s one of the reasons he created FriendFeed. He says: “The union of all of your friend’s one or two services is a really diverse set of information and a really diverse array of services.”

For me, this is the key point. I shouldn’t have to use the same tool as my friends in order to see their photos, videos, favorite music or movies, recommended news articles or podcasts. The key is in how usable my view into all this information can be.

Following the conversation

Today we can search, but when the conversation is flying, I really want to see “who else is talking about this”. Within that view, I may want to be able to limit it to what my friends are saying, or maybe what their friends are saying, or just see the whole conversation.

This is not a trivial problem. The conversation isn’t a single thread; it doesn’t start from a single place. So bringing it all together in a coherent way is not easy. I shouldn’t have to be an expert at crafting a search string in order to find and follow the conversation. That search complexity should be hidden – It needs to be a usable, intuitive interface that lets me focus on the content, on the conversation.

Segmentation of content

I’m not very interested in Robert Scoble’s twitter feed or his shows on Qik, but I’m very interested in his events list on Upcoming, shared items from Google Reader and his detailed posts on technology. Can FriendFeed be the place where I follow just the parts of Scoble’s prodigious output that interests me? Can this kind of fussy control be provided without making the user experience so dense that it drives away users?

Take a Listen

The Gillmor Gang today covered all these questions and more. It was a fascinating hour, and the FriendFeed team handled it all thoughtfully and with great insight.

Hugh McLeod says “Being a nucleus is the money shot” for FriendFeed, and I think he’s right. The FriendFeed team seems poised to really make it work.

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