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Weekly Recap 062708: The FriendFeed Immigration Continues

Twitter’s replies tab has been disabled most of this week, causing a fair amount of consternation…without Replies, it’s hard to maintain asynchronous conversations, or even synchronous ones if you’re conversing with 10,000+ people…

So a few more of the bigger technorati are discovering the merits of FriendFeed…

Michael Arrington: “Friendfeed for most users was just a place to bookmarks all their activities on other social networks. Now, more and more, it’s a place that people start conversations. The early adopters got that a while ago. Now, the not so early adopters are using it as a Twitter replacement, too.”

Dave Winer: “I’m steering people to FriendFeed, can’t help it. My discussions are happening there. And bonus: It pisses off Steve Gillmor. :-)”

Shel Israel: “Really tired of Replies being broken here. Spending more time in FF, but still subscribing only to close friends over there.”

Steve Gillmor: “friendfeed is getting very close to being usable”

Chris Saad: “So is the idea we use friendfeed instead of Twitter? Does that actually work?”

Not bad at all…but we’ll see how long it lasts…collectively, the last four (excluding Arrington) have 18,670 followers, which is hard to match any time soon on FriendFeed…as Corvida noted:

when you get out of one relationship that you’ve put so much time and effort into, do you really feel like going out there, just to find a replacement to try to rebuild what you had with someone else?

Once Twitter rights its ship (in several months), we’ll see how many of the Twitter refugees stick around on FriendFeed…

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Have you heard of the Persian Cam Room on FriendFeed? Join it! Amazing pictures can be found there.

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Amazing pictures can be found there.

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I often see complaints on FriendFeed about too much FriendFeed talk…to which I say, that’s why they provide the Hide function…

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Facebook has added FriendFeed-like functionality, allowing comments on the activity streams of your friends…I’m trying it out a bit, here are a few initial impressions:

  • It’s hard to comment on someone adding the “Hug Me” application
  • Status updates are easier content on which to comments
  • You really get used to the speed with which commenting and accessing new content occurs. Facebook is so painfully slow in comparison
  • I was pleased with the comments I got back after I did my first round of comments. Will continue to play with it.

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Finally, I wanted to note the moves of several solo bloggers into the “big time”

Interestingly enough, Frederic had just the prior week written a post in which he noted:

It’s close to impossible for a solo blogger to make a living in the tech blogosphere.

Now he’s part of the big time…congrats to all!

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See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/search?q=%22Weekly+Recap+062708%3A+The+FriendFeed+Immigration+Continues%22&public=1

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Weekly Recap 061308: Social Media Exposure

Social media means exposure…exposure of your life…exposure to people interested in and knowledgeable about subjects you like…exposure to things that might offend you…exposure for your company

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Had fun this week with my post Nudity on FriendFeed: What Are Some Sensible Rules?…I wrote it for two reasons…(1) to get a temperature check from FriendFeed members as to where they stand with regard to nudity in their streams…(2) to point out that users have some control over their exposure to such things…

Michael Hocter, whose Flickr Favorites entry prompted me to write the post, reports that he gained a lot of new FriendFeed subscribers…and he’s sticking with the nudes (NSFW)…

I also learned that showing a topless model in your blog post will drive site visits better than anything…usually, my posts have a greater number of subscription views than site views, but this post was the opposite…a lot of click-throughs to the blog…

One concern…the word nudity in the post will get me some unwanted attention from odd spammers…thank goodness for Akismet

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Interesting development…FriendFeed now has a ‘block’ feature…as I write this, the FriendFeed guys haven’t posted anything about it yet to their blog…but here’s what the text says when you use the ‘block’ feature:

After blocking this user, you won’t see any of their posts or comments on FriendFeed, and they won’t see anything you post. If they’re subscribed to you, that subscription will be removed.

Here’s how Bret Taylor describes the philosophy of the feature: “Blocking is not a filtering mechanism, but an abuse prevention tool.”…this is going to come in handy…

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NBC News’s Tim Russert passed away today, from a heart attack…I enjoy following politics, and when I lived in Washington D.C., I couldn’t get enough of it…Tim Russert served up outstanding questions, a respectful demeanor and a tenacious pursuit for answers to his questions…I also enjoyed his book Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons

Amazing array of items related to Tim Russert on FriendFeed…blogs, direct posts, news articles, tweets, photos, videos…

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Jeremiah Owyang asks Does the President need to know how to use a Computer/Web?…NO!…there are so many things that go beyond our technology world, why would we stress this?…give me an authentic leader, who can surround himself with a talented team, who has positions with which I agree, and who can drive an agenda at home and abroad…computer user is pretty low on my list of requirements…

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How FriendFeed has altered one of my behaviors…I often share only three items at once in Google Reader…three is the maximum number of shares that display with titles in FriendFeed…do more than that, and you get two blog titles visible, all others relegated to the dreaded “[N] more” link…

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Caleb Elston released new features this week for his company Toluu…those are great, but I thought an equally cool story was how Caleb leveraged his blogger relations and presence on FriendFeed and Twitter to spread the word…

I added up the Technorati Authority of the eight blogs that covered the new features…the combined Authority of 872 is the equivalent of getting a Top 5000 blogger to write about you, but even better…those eight different posts were bouncing to the top of FriendFeed over and over for each blogger’s set of subscribers, meaning the exposure was not dependent on one blog post getting traction…something to think about for future marketing…

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If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out Louis Gray’s post this week about The Five Stages Of Early Adopter Behavior…my favorite is Stage #4 “Sense of Entitlement, Nitpicking and Reduced Use”…I’m not an early adopter type (I still have a mini-brick Sprint cell phone), but I’ll have to watch myself for these stages…

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See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/search?q=%22Weekly+Recap+061308%3A+Social+Media+Exposure%22&public=1

Nudity on FriendFeed: What Are Some Sensible Rules?

An interesting issue cropped up on FriendFeed. Nudity. Specifically, some of the Flickr pictures that come through on FriendFeed contain topless or fully nude models. It’s an interesting tension between user generated content and community norms.

This is an issue that has been raised numerous times in the United States, where community norms are more conservative. Europe seems to have been celebrating the human body since the Renaissance.

On FriendFeed, there’s a good discussion around a (not safe for work) set of Flickr favorites by Michael Hocter. The set includes pictures of topless and nude models.

There were several people applying ‘Likes’ to the set, including me. Hey, I liked the pictures, what can I say? They are artistic and beautiful.

The way FriendFeed works is what has caused some discomfort. If you subscribe to Michael Hocter, you’ll see his photos come through your feed. If you don’t subscribe, you won’t see his pictures initially…

Until someone to whom you subscribe Likes or Comments on them. Then they hit your FriendFeed stream via the friend-of-friend feature. As Michael Hocter himself says:

I photograph nudes, so I tend to favorite nudes on Flickr. A lot of them don’t show up here because most of us nude photographers mark our photos Moderate or Restricted. But sometimes when the photographer doesn’t do that, they end up here. I’m sure the majority of people who subscribe to my feed are aware of it and don’t mind, but the friend-of-a-friend feature is problematic.

This problem is somewhat unique to FriendFeed. You can publish photos on Facebook, but only people who are your friends will see them.

One female FriendFeeder who is subscribed to me, edythe, had this comment with regard to the photos:

yeah, i have some mixed feelings about the topless women. we had a discussion a couple of weeks ago about nudity appearing in flickr favorites. no one liked it when it was male nudity. I don’t object to this. i just have mixed feelings about it. (yes, i know i can hide it. 😉 )

Being an adult means you get to see things that you wouldn’t have when you were a child. I don’t want Victorian winds blowing through the feeds on FriendFeed. But I also recognize that there are sensible guidelines that govern the type of pictures that are appropriate.

A Few of My Own Guidelines

So I propose a few guidelines for nudity on FriendFeed:

I know it when I see it. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said about hard-core pornography, “I know it when I see it.” Both content submitters and those who Like or Comment need to use some common sense as to what constitutes porn. It’s particularly incumbent on those who Like and Comment to be reasonable.

Artistic vs. exploitive. This is one that probably varies by person, and really good arguments can be made on both sides. Here’s one way of thinking about it. Michael Hocter photos = artistic. Penthouse photos = exploitive. Playboy pictures = in the eye of the beholder. Want a better description of artistic? Here’s female photographer Dawn M. Armfield:

I don’t photograph nudes (obvious to anyone who follows my photography), but I really appreciate great nude photography, male or female. The contours of the human body are just as beautiful as any other shapes we photograph.

Sexual acts. Nope, don’t go there. Over the line.

Gender. Male or female models.

Anatomy. All normally visible parts of the human body (e.g. no goatse).

Frequency. Oh, this is a good one. If you’re an originator of content (e.g. Flickr favorites), I don’t think there should be any restrictions on how often you add content. Fire away as much as you want. If you’re a Liker or Commenter, use common sense in your frequency. Your subscribers probably aren’t looking for a high volume of nudity. If they want that, they can subscribe to the originator.

Don’t Be Afraid to Like or Comment. One of the great things about FriendFeed is you can give feedback to content submitters. I just said that Likes and Comments shouldn’t be overly frequent. But don’t stop giving feedback altogether…that would be another form of censorship.

Use the Hide function. Those who are offended by nudity should make good use of the Hide function. Assuming folks follow some of the guidelines above, the initial view of the pictures hopefully won’t cause cardiac arrest. After the initial shock, click that Hide link. No more of the offending pictures.

Final Thoughts

The hell if I know whether these make sense to others. I’m not a First Amendment public policy expert. I’m not a professional photographer. I’m not a woman who might feel excluded or offended by interaction around these pictures. But they make sense to me, a regular dude.

What do you think?

I’m @bhc3 on Twitter.