Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Preliminary Results - Reading FriendFeed via Google Reader

Introduction | Preliminary Results | Mobility

First - if you didn't read my post from earlier today, Reading FriendFeed via Google Reader (Sean McBride's suggestion), I suggest that you do so.

Second - if you've been reading my FriendFeed entries (perhaps via Google Reader?), you may already know some of this stuff. I apologize for the repetition.

I took a few screen shots as my Google Reader "friendfeed" folder began to get populated. The picture below probably illustrates things better than any other.

What I've done here is scrolled through the list of all items in the folder, clicked on one of the items, and viewed the content as it appears in FriendFeed. (Actually, this is probably as it appeared in FriendFeed at one point; Google Reader takes a snapshot of the item, but subsequent changes to the underlying item may not be captured by Google Reader.)

From here, I can do several things:
  • I can click on the clickable link for "Secret Identity," which will take me out of Google Reader to look at the underlying item - in this case, an item at Amazon.

  • I can click on the word "Like," which will take me out of Google Reader and into FriendFeed itself, where I can click "Like" again to register my like of the item.

  • I can click on the word "Comment," which will take me out of Google Reader and into FriendFeed, where I will find a comment box just waiting for my wisdom.
You'll recall that I only entered feeds for the things that the 11 people entered themselves, excluding their comments and likes. Well, toward the end of the day I began added "discussions" (e.g. comments and likes) feeds to my "friendfeed" folder in Google Reader, and that's where things began to get powerful.

Before I proceed, let me describe my current philosophy toward FriendFeed and Twitter. I follow hundreds of people on both services, and there is absolutely no way that I can read every single thing that every one of my friends types, likes, or to which they add comments. Think of barefoot Huckleberry Finn dangling his toes in the Mississippi River; his toes will feel the water, but they won't feel all of the water. I have accepted the fact that I will never see everything in FriendFeed or Twitter, even from my circle, and I can live with that.

But perhaps I may change my philosophy. You know that I've droned on and on all over the place about Louis Gray's suggestion of a "Lite" version of FriendFeed for new users or users who for some reason don't want to get blasted by the full firehose. As I've seen things that talked about Gray's idea, I've read them and sometimes commented on them. But I completely missed this item until it showed up in my "friendfeed" folder in Google Reader, courtesy an item in FriendFeed which was liked by edythe. Now I follow edythe, but I don't necessarily see everything that she likes - especially since she has liked over 43,000 items to date.

So what did I miss in FriendFeed, but find in Google Reader? A Sarah Lacy post that focuses on Louis Gray's "Lite" idea, as well as her personal experiences with FriendFeed (and with the chief FriendFeeders, but that's the topic for another post, probably).

So perhaps Sean McBride is right, and Google Reader can be used as a tool to quickly find items of interest in FriendFeed. From there, you can go to FriendFeed itself, or to the underlying item itself, and interact to your heart's content.

This is definitely worth exploring.

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