Over the last few months I’ve been using FriendFeed more. It took me some time (as it did with Twitter) to figure out how to utilize the service in a way that worked for me. Here’s what I found worked for me. Use Twitter to follow those you know, sprinkle in a few that you don’t but mainly keep for those you really know or are related to your field. What you want to use FriendFeed for is everything else.
I’m a .NET developer by trade, its my job and software development as a whole is a general interest. So as a result I’ve kept my Twitter follow list closely to those in that field. Sure there are people I know personally, people I work(ed) with, and a few social media people I find interesting. But if you were to look at my following list, you’d see mostly developers if it’s not someone I know. This keeps my Twitter feed relevent to me because it’s my friends and my field. But since programming isn’t my only interest, I use FriendFeed to fill in the holes for my other interests.
I like keeping up with social media, Web 2.0, general technology that’s not necessarily related to software development. So I use FriendFeed to follow highly prolific folks who would otherwise overrun my Twitter stream. People like Robert Scoble, Louis Gray, Om Malik, Michael Arrington, and other bloggers and writers that if I were to follow on Twitter would cause my friends and those in my specific field to be lost in the mix because they just post so much stuff. I don’t want to miss that stuff though, so I use FriendFeed to see it and comment on it. FriendFeed also has “groups” which allow you to follow things in a more organized manner should you need it. There are several user created groups so you can follow areas of interest which brings in more items.
Basically to boil it down, I keep my Twitter stream fairly focused while my FriendFeed stream is anything but focused. FriendFeed is for those that desire information overload. When I don’t have time for the information, I can simply not go to the FriendFeed page or open the desktop application I’m using for it. When I’m done with work I can log into FriendFeed and the more popular stuff is going to be towards the top so I will always get the best or most controversial news items because FriendFeed moves them to the top when new likes or comments appear on a specific item.
FriendFeed is a nice service but its purpose is vastly different than Twitter and that can take some getting used to. Hopefully this helps a few people use FriendFeed more since it can be a little hard to figure out, especially if you’re coming from Twitter.