With all the problems Twitter has been having recently there’s been a lot of talk about people moving to Friendfeed or whether Friendfeed is the future etc etc so I decided to dig out my old account details and give it another go.
Now I have to admit, when I first tried FF I didn’t really get it… I found it useful as an aggregator for all my own activity on the web – and I’ve used it for that in a few places – but I other than that it didn’t really leave a lasting impression.
Part of the reason I didn’t get on with FF was probably because I didn’t add many contacts, so the first thing I did was search out a few more people I follow on Twitter and add them. I was pleasantly surprised to find most of the people I searched for, and it was good to check out the other things they’re doing. But… that did lead to quite a lot of noise. I’ll investigate some settings to see if I can filter things out, but there are only so many ‘friend of Robert Scoble‘ posts I’m likely to read in any one day! On the plus side, I really like the comment functionality. It’s useful to see replies threaded and is something I’d love to see in Twitter.
I played around with the Rooms tab a little, it’s interesting, but (maybe I’m being stupid here) wouldn’t it be better to be able to search for rooms you might be interested in? I can’t help thinking there’s a gap here in both FF and Twitter for the equivalent of an old IRC channel, a way of focusing comment and people around a particular topic.
Overall though, whilst I do like the idea of Friendfeed… and I will stick with it in case I’m still missing something obvious… it still leaves me a little underwhelmed… to me Friendfeed doesn’t seem to have the character that Twitter has.
It’s a hard thing to describe – let alone quantify – but for me Twitter as a site and a service has a character of its own. It could be that its just me that sees character in ‘things’ I don’t know, but it’s something that I reckon can make or break a product. It would seem to be something that can be captured and used as a marketing tool – look at BMW and the Mini. Fiat are chasing the same with their 500.
So that’s it really… I prefer Twitter, even though it does seem to be built on servers made of cheese, because it has a character of it’s own. I like that :)