Three Reasons You Need to Be on FriendFeed *Now*

FriendFeed Triple PlayFriendFeed has got to be one of the most innovative companies around these days. It seems every week, it’s hatched something new with its service. That alone makes it worth being there.

Then there’s the interactions. When those are rocking and rolling, it’s a lot of fun. Even a few Likes and comments are worth the experience. Of course, not everyone is engaged enough on the service to fully benefit from that. Which is something I completely understand, by the way.

I’ve got three reasons you should be on FriendFeed now. Not for the conversations. Not for the real-time experience. But three reasons that will be valuable to you personally.

The FriendFeed triple play.

#1: Google Juice

You likely know the background of much of the FriendFeed team – Google. Yeah, these guys know search. Even more importantly, they know something about how Google manages search.

So it comes as no surprise that FriendFeed can rank pretty highly in Google search results. Here’s a favorite example of mine.

Alex Scoble (yes, Robert’s brother) is planning his wedding reception. One candidate location for the reception was the Hillsboro Cultural Arts Center. But the managers of that location were not very flexible in working Alex and his fiance. On FriendFeed, Alex posted about the Hillsboro Cultural Arts Center, with some comments explaining why he was not going to use them. It’s not a flattering portrayal of the Center.

Well, check out what a search on the Center’s name returns: Alex’s FriendFeed entry is the #6 result.

Not something that Center wants in their search results, but a great way for Alex to let others know about his experience with the Center.

FriendFeed’s Google prowess shows most strongly in name search results.

On this FriendFeed discussion, Mark Trapp noted that his FriendFeed account always ranks higher than his personal site. Well, if you run a search on mark trapp, you’ll also see that his FriendFeed account is ranked #1, ahead of some attorney named Mark Trapp. Without FriendFeed, that attorney would own the #1 search result.

And FriendFeed member Brian Chang noted this back in January: “I just discovered that my FriendFeed comes up on the first page of Google search results for my name. I think that’s the first time something of mine has actually done that.” A quick search on brian chang reveals he’s not on the first page, but he’s still there, among a lot of brian chang sites.

FriendFeed shows up #3 on a search of my own name.

#2: Personal Content Database

Let’s assume you participate in more than one social media site. Maybe Twitter,, blog and Flickr. FriendFeed, of course, lets you pipe all of that into its site. If nothing else, having one place where you can search for all your content easily is reason enough.

Returning to the search pedigree of the FriendFeed team, there’s a really good reason to have your Twitter account piped in. It makes it easy to find your tweets. As Louis Gray noted last week, it’s much easier to find tweets in FriendFeed than it is with Twitter’s search. On FriendFeed, you’ve got an archive of all your tweets. On Twitter, you don’t.

Here’s an example. I’ve tweeted a few times about “friendfeed” and “search”. On Twitter, I get one result when searching my tweets for those words. On FriendFeed, I get many, as I’ve actually written those two words in a number of tweets. See the screen shots below, which show only a portion of the FriendFeed search results:

FriendFeed vs Twitter search

Remember when the bookmarking service Ma.gnolia lost all its users’ data? If you had saved your bookmarks there, you were out of luck. There was no recourse to getting that data out. In a post here, I noted that bookmark service Diigo lets you save to simultaneously. The idea being that you needn’t rely on just one service, in the wake of Ma.gnolia’s data loss.

Well, that same notion of mitigating your risk carries over to FriendFeed as well. I pipe all my Diigo bookmarks into FriendFeed. So now I have my bookmarks in three places: Diigo, and FriendFeed. And when I need to look up one of my bookmarks, where do I usually search? FriendFeed.

#3: Tracking Web Content about What Interests You

Probably my biggest use case for FriendFeed is as a tracking platform for various topics I care about. I’ve got a room to track Enterprise 2.0, which I augment with following 70+ individuals from that world. I’ve got a room for tracking my company Spigit, its competitors and the innovation management field.

The importance and value of tracking the Web this way is something I’ve discussed here many times. You can visit those prior posts for greater detail on how and why.

But I’ll say this. Whenever I need to get up to speed quickly on something, setting up these FriendFeed Rooms and Lists is one of the first things I do. You’d be amazed at how effective they are. And unlike a lot of social media monitoring programs, FriendFeed doesn’t cost you a thing (although some would pay for these features).


Those are three powerful reasons you should be on FriendFeed. Right now. They don’t require you to get in there and apply Likes and comments to entries if that’s not your thing (that’s powerful in its own right, but more the province of social networks). But you will immediately start benefiting from what the service offers.

Know anyone holding out or just unaware of FriendFeed? Send ’em this post.


About Hutch Carpenter
Chief Scientist Revolution Credit

36 Responses to Three Reasons You Need to Be on FriendFeed *Now*

  1. Hi Hutch –

    I agree with the points you make.

    I extract the most value from FriendFeed by using it as a tool to cut down noise from those I’m following on Twitter – i.e. on FriendFeed I only follow those most influential to me as it aggregates their activity on all networks/blogs.

    Check out this post by @blogtillyoudrop (5 tips to make the most of FriendFeed | blog till you drop! which is the one that has taught me how to adapt my use of FriendFeed so it works in conjunction with the rest of my networks – a classic example of the sum being greater than the parts.

    Cheers from Londontown!

    • Hi Mauricio – good post on FriendFeed. And you raise an important point. People are more than their tweets. If all you do is follow them on Twitter, you’re missing a decent amount of relevant content.

  2. Hutch, great article!

    Google juice is an important argument for using FriendFeed, it always amazes me how high crossposts on FriendFeed get in the google search results.

    b.t.w. nice to see my name in the screenshot;-)

  3. AnthonyF says:

    I use it for bookmarking, content distribution and good convo 😀

  4. In my case, I find the tracking features to be most useful.

    To better understand the benefits of FriendFeed, I took a moment and framed the opposing argument – namely, three reasons you need to stay far away from FriendFeed (linked above). The service isn’t perfect, and sometimes FriendFeed gets a free pass for things that we love to criticize Twitter about.

    I’m not sure that FriendFeed, or a service like it, will ever get to 200 million users, and that it won’t be suitable for many people. But to a relative few (relative vs. the number of people in Facebook, or Twitter), it does offer some powerful capabilities.

    • John – I saw your anti-post. Good points raised there. My focus here is to say that you don’t even need a social network on FriendFeed to derive benefits. Of course, once you’re on the site, you’ll see the value of engagement, But it’s not a requirement.

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  6. Great post. I’ve been using FriendFeed more as a casual tool, but as more and more interesting conversations start, I start using FriendFeed. Excellent post.

    • Daniel – the conversations can be great on FriendFeed. I know not everyone is ready to or has the time to engage. In this post, I figured I’d point out some other benefits that being there provides.

  7. robscott2007 says:

    Just added FriendFeed to one of our sites – – and it looks really good to say the least. Got to be wellused too given the number of accounts you can use for it…

  8. Rotkapchen says:

    My own experience…if your FriendFeed shows up high in the list, it might say something about your social presence. Mine’s not on the first page, far as I can see.

    But great points anyway : )

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  10. Zoe Sands says:

    Google Juice – that’s a really interesting point you made. It is great that friendfeed helps with SEO, so having an account is a must have from a personal branding perspective, as it allows your social media activity to be shown within the top search results on a search request for “your name”. I’ve had a friendfeed account for several months, but have only recently started seeing the benefits of aggregating my social networks’ content. Although, there are alternatives to friendfeed, try Profilactic this aggregator allows you to link to many more social networks than friendfeed.

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  14. Donna Payne says:

    Wow. Thanks so much for this post. I found you by the way on Friendfeed 🙂 Sharing w/all my peeps!


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  17. onegirlriot says:

    oh, thank you for this post. Now I have a way to manage my feed from twitter, which has become unmanageable. Plus there are some nifty groups within FF.

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  20. I guess all your points are still valid (even more) after the acquisition?

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  22. diggma says:

    Great post. I’ve been using FriendFeed more as a casual tool, but as more and more interesting conversations start, I start using FriendFeed. Excellent post.

  23. Mary-Lynn says:

    I love FriendFeed. It helps me remember all the other social networks I’m on. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve come back to FF to get my links. But I also love how it aggregates all my activity in one place. I use FF instead of Twitterfeed to ping Twitter & Facebook with my daily blog / podcast posts as well. I’d also have to say most of the things I retweet are stories I find in my FriendFeed stream 🙂

  24. Great post. I’ve been using FriendFeed more as a casual tool, but as more and more interesting conversations start, I start using FriendFeed. Excellent post.

  25. Great post. I’ve been using FriendFeed more as a casual tool, but as more and more interesting conversations start, I start using FriendFeed. Excellent post.

  26. Thank you for this article.I have a way to manage my feed from twitter.

  27. Nice share,thanks it’s useful

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