Early Adopters: Attention Is Migrating to FriendFeed

Based on the reaction to a recent post about Twitter early adopters, it’s clear there’s an appetite to understand when trends emerge and applications migrate across the technology adoption lifecycle.

To that end, there are important updates about FriendFeed.

FriendFeed has been out for a few months as this cool app that lets you look at what your friends are doing across social media. If you were to stop there, it sounds nice, but somewhat useless to everyday activities. “Yeah, I check it every so often to see what my friends are up to.”

But, it is so much more. FriendFeed is emerging as the one lifestream platform to rule them all. The ability to see and interact across a range of services is proving addictive. And it may inadvertently disrupt a few other services along the way.

Four recent comments show that a trend is emerging. People are consuming updates from their social apps not directly from the apps themselves, but primarily from FriendFeed. FriendFeed is starting to get the lion’s share of attention and page views, to the detriment of other services.

Here are the quotes.

Robert Scoble tweeted about his declining use of Google Reader due to FriendFeed:

FriendFeed has replaced much of what made RSS cool to me. I’m still reading Google Reader, but less.

Thomas Hawk messaged on FriendFeed about his declining use of Flickr due to FriendFeed:

I find that I’m going to Flickr’s most recent photos from my contacts much less than I used to and going to friendfeed to view my contacts and imaginary contacts flickr photos much more.

Steven Hodson commented about potentially leaving Twitter altogether due to FriendFeed:

FriendFeed as for me it is a much better resource than Twitter will every be. It has gotten to the point where even now I’m seriously thinking of moving strictly to FF.

Jason Kaneshiro blogged about his declining use of Google Reader, due to FriendFeed

FriendFeed is replacing Google Reader as my information aggregator / filter.

If you’re trendspotting, you’d do worse than to look at the comments of those four to see where the early adopters are moving.

Finally, the compete.com graph below shows March 2008 had a huge spike in visitors to friendfeed.com:

How about you? Are you feeling it?

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See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/e/0b9e5d3f-e644-6105-5e28-7b4a95e1b34a

How Do Solo Bloggers Break into the Techmeme 100?

26% of US internetters have started a blog
Stat from Universal McCann study, courtesy of the blog 3008

A couple weeks ago, Steve Hodson at Winextra wrote a post that caught my eye. In Why today’s solo bloggers may not see Scoble-like fame…, he observes that the emergence of investor-funded professional blog networks (e.g. TechCrunch) will be the dominant industry structure going forward. Breaking the top end of that oligopoly will be tough for any solo blogger.

However several solo bloggers are regularly in the Techmeme 100, as Steve notes here. It got me thinking about how someone’s blog goes from a little experiment to achieving a large audience and becoming influential. The stat above about 26% of Web users starting blog strikes me as high, but let’s assume there’s a large number of individuals starting blogs.

From where I sit (far, far outside any kind of Techmeme rankings), I can envision three ways the influx of solo bloggers can break into the Techmeme 100. To be sure, there are other rankings beyond Techmeme. For instance, the Technorati 100 is a big deal. Political blog Huffington Post doesn’t show up on Techmeme, but it dominates the Technorati 100. The paths below apply to non-tech blogs and non-Techmeme rankings.

The three paths to the Techmeme 100 are:

  1. Long Slog
  2. Big Events
  3. Celebrity

Long Slog

Slow and steady wins the race. This is the most accessible to a the solo blogger. Through a lengthy amount of time, you accumulate readers. It’s a ground war, where you need to be “good enough” most of the time with flashes of occasional brilliance. Here’s what the growth chart would look like:

Patience. Quality posts. Devoted long time fans.

Big Events

This blog experiences a series of big events that give it jumps in subscribers. Each events attracts a flood of new visitors, some of whom decide to subscribe.

What might these big events be?

  • Recognition by bigger bloggers with huge followings
  • Freakishly popular posts
  • Specialized area of focus that suddenly becomes hot

I think that if a blogger emerges on the other side of these big events to have a wide following, there’ll be this sense that they burst on the scene. But like an actress who suddenly gets hot, you’ll never see all the bit parts and ‘B’ movies that she was in before.

‘Big events’ is the one that’s most likely to get solo bloggers into the big time. This is the path that requires the most luck.

Celebrity

This is a path open only to a select few. Celebrities who have made a name for themselves in other realms, and then turn out to have talent in blogging as well. Celebrity blogs attract subscribers almost from day one:

Marc Andreessen has proven to be quite talented at blogging. And it didn’t hurt readership that he had already achieved legend status based on Netscape. Imagine if Microsoft buys Yahoo and Jerry Yang decides to start blogging on his own. I guarantee that will get subscribers (I know I’d subscribe).

Final Thoughts

Celebrities go right to the front of the line, but they’d better have blogging talent. Long slog blogs are testaments to the love of blogging. Big events seem to be the most likely path for the next Robert Scobles and Louis Grays to emerge.

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See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/e/d7b6d330-9c38-f5cf-f6f2-1de1582c0153