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Weekly Recap 062008: Baby I’m-a Want You

Babies sure can take a long time to arrive, can’t they? I don’t want to see an update from Louis until at least an hour after their birth, even longer…first things first…

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Benjamin Golub, creator of RSSmeme, received an email from an irate blogger this week…a couple of her posts had been shared via Google Reader, and ended up on RSSmeme. She wanted them taken down…

I was surprised, as I had only seen links and partial feeds for blogs on RSSmeme…turns out, there was a full feed option…

RSSmeme does run Google ads, but Benjamin’s not getting rich off them…they offset the server costs…

Still, it did set up an issue where the full content of a blog was accessible on a different site, and the site was earning money on the content via ads…

Duncan Riley came out pretty strong in favor of the blogger…partial feeds are fine, as the reader must visit the actual blog to read the whole thing…but full feeds crossed the line…I find myself agreeing with Duncan on this one…

The cool thing about RSSmeme is that it indicates how popular an item was by the number of shares…it also tells you who did the sharing…so if someone’s interested in the full blog post based on (i) its subject; (ii) the number of Reader shares; and (iii) who did the sharing, they will click the link to read the post on the actual blog…full feeds on RSSmeme aren’t needed…

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TechCrunch posts are published under two separate users on FriendFeed, Michael Arrington and Erick Schonfeld…but the action always seems to be around Arrington’s user ID…

Looking at the past ten TechCrunch posts, Arrington’s FriendFeed has 22 Likes and Comments, Schonfeld has 2…

Why such a disparity?…Arrington is the public face of TechCrunch, so people will gravitate toward his feed even if he hasn’t written the post…Arrington follows 1,329 people on FriendFeed, Schonfeld follows 79…Arrington’s FriendFeed handle is techcrunch while Schonfeld’s is erick…so if you looking for the TechCrunch feed on FriendFeed, you’re naturally going to find Arrington first…

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Finally applied the FriendFeed Block function to a user…it wasn’t that he was hassling me, but he has a tendency to spam FriendFeed entries with unrelated things and links…he added one right after I posted a comment on one entry, which disrupted the vibe of the entry…so I finally pulled the trigger…

I actually feel bad about doing it…

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With the recent post about nudity on FriendFeed, the search term nudity is starting to show up a regular referral to my blog…not quite was I was looking for, but traffic is traffic…

Which makes me wonder what kind of search term hits Ginger Makela will get for her recent post Now That I’ve Got Your Attention with BOOBS, a Word from Our Sponsor…Ginger did ad sales for Google, so she knows a thing or two about SEO

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I did experience a few users unsubscribing from me on FriendFeed the past week or so…you write about nudity, gay marriage and Like Flickr pix with nudity, that will happen…

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Some couples on FriendFeed that I enjoy…Lindsay Donaghe and Tad DonagheThomas Hawk and Mrs Hawk

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And thanks go out to Steven Hodson for putting this humble little blog up on pedestal…if you’re not subscribing to his blog WinExtra, you should…click here to add it to your reader…

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See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/search?q=%22weekly+recap+062008%22&public=1

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Analyzing My FriendFeed Stats: I Should Be Direct Posting More

I’m curious about the level of interaction that occurs around the different content that streams through FriendFeed. Distributed conversations are fine by me, and I wonder what sparks them most often for content. So I did a little analysis of the ‘likes’ and comments that have happened for me.

Below are some pie charts. The first set analyze the ‘likes’. To the left is the percentage of my FriendFeed stream that comes from different content sources. To the right, I counted the number of ‘likes’ for the various content sources. For the ‘likes’ I only counted for the month of May, but I think it’s a decent approximation of my overall activity.

A couple observations:

  • Blog posts and FriendFeed Direct Posts are the biggest sources of ‘likes’
  • Google Reader shares and Twitter are a big part of my stream, but don’t generate a comparable percent of ‘likes’

Now let’s see how the comments look:

Would you look at that? FriendFeed direct posts dominate the comments. My blog posts are #2.

What’s It Mean?

I imagine everyone’s experience will vary. For me, I draw four conclusions.

My FriendFeed use is similar to people who Twitter: With FriendFeed direct posts, I’ll sometimes just make an observation. Other times, I direct post a website, generally with a graphic. This strikes me as similar to Twitter in that I’m posting something that can be consumed by anyone who subscribes to me. Also, these posts mean someone can stay within FriendFeed. Seems to make a difference in interaction when people can stay on the site. Like Twitter.

‘Likes’ dominate my blog posts: The Likes:Comments ratio for my blog posts is running at 4:1. For all the concern about fractured comments, I’d say people are overlooking basic recommendations of your content via ‘likes’. It’s not about the comments, it’s about the ‘likes’!

Comments on my posts frequently occur on someone else’s stream: There are several of my blog posts that have generated good comments. They just haven’t occurred on the RSS feed from my blog. These bigger comment fests have been when someone with much larger following and FriendFeed ‘presence’ (and I’m not going to write his name, because I use it too often…). But you know what? I’ll take those comments! They obviously weren’t happening just off my own post. In the long run that kind of exposure is vital for us smaller bloggers.

Google Reader shares suffer from repetition: Good blog posts will often be shared by several FriendFeed members, including those with larger followings. So when I share, I may be following others. So the repetition diminishes the interaction. I still share – there is some interaction. And Google Reader shares end up in several other places, like RSSmeme and ReadBurner. These services will show the most popular shares, so I want to vote for these blog posts.

Final Thoughts

Colin Walker has some interesting thoughts about using FriendFeed as a blogging platform. Looking at how FriendFeed Direct Posts and my blog generate the biggest activity, maybe he’s on to something.

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See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/search?q=%22analyzing+my+friendfeed+stats%22&public=1

Explosion of Blog Aggregators…How to Keep Up?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen the names of a number of aggregation sites out there. It’s a very popular space, and I have not really understood who they were or what made them tick. But my growing enjoyment of FriendFeed made me wonder about what these other sites are up to. So I put together a high level survey of several of them.

There’s a really long table below. Before that, a few notes are in order.

Selected apps: This is by no means an exhaustive list. For instance, I just got into Yokway today, but haven’t had a chance to try it out. I just came up with a list from the serendipitous finds I’ve had. I also focused on earlier stage companies – no Digg, del.icio.us or StumbleUpon.

How stuff gets in there: There are three way that blog posts and news articles are added to these aggregation sites:

  • Submit: Users add a specific web page to the site, often via a toolbar ‘add’ button.
  • RSS share: Google Reader lets you ‘share’ an item in your RSS feeds that you like, posting it to your publicly accessible ‘shared items’ page, which is tracked by an aggregation site
  • RSS feed: The aggregation site takes a feed of all posts from a blog or news site

What’s interesting: Every site has its own secret sauce for what makes it tick. I tried to find things that seemed to each site apart from others.

Experience: I rate the user experience of these sites based how much was required to use them effectively. In this earlier blog post, I describe examples of light and heavy user experiences. Generally, lighter is better, but heavy can be OK for really good, distinctive features.

The point of this chart: It’s not to praise or bury any of these apps. Just to put together a list of what’s out there. If you’re an information seeker, a writer or seeking social connections with like-minded people, then you should check out some of these sites.

After the chart, I include links to other blogs with more information, plus a few thoughts as well.

Quick thoughts in dot…dot…dot fashion:

Diigo’s people matching based on common bookmarks and tags is a really cool idea, it reminds me of Toluu‘s matching based on common blog subscriptions…LinkRiver and Reddit have a very similar philosophy, with Reddit deploying a lot more categorization than LinkRiver….ReadBurner and RSS Meme are also very similar…Shyftr may have a light experience, but I’ll admit I found the overall user experience confusing right now (they’re in beta, it will improve)…Twine’s automatically generated tags for different categories was really interesting, need to explore that more…no notes on FriendFeed, just click ‘FriendFeed’ in my tag cloud for information about it…I kind of like getting my daily Social Median emails with news updates…Blog Rize has a spare UI, but it is strangely compelling…luckily, none of my blog posts have received the ‘lame’ or ‘facts wrong’ ratings on Blog Rize…

Wrapping up, here are some blog posts to get you started on the various apps:

I may be posting about some these sites in the days to come.

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See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/e/9bdd0ad9-a377-f65d-6140-8dc4e835c6c3