Guest post by Leslie Fishlock
Some people swear by Twitter; that it is the only place for them when using social media to interact with others.
Still others will only use Facebook or LinkedIn for interacting and connecting.
And quite a few more folks are proponents of their blogs, RSS feeds, Flickr, social bookmarks and many other social networking sites.
But how about using a service that aggregates all of these in real-time in one easy-to-use stream that provides a more comprehensive interaction with your followers and community? And provide a lot more content and search capability?
This is what FriendFeed does.
FriendFeed is what we call a “real-time feed aggregator”, meaning it consolidates all your updates from all your social media accounts and displays them in one stream. These include all social networking websites (Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn), social bookmarking websites (StumbleUpon, Delicious,) video (YouTube, Vimeo, 12 seconds) blogs (Tumblr, Blogger), micro-blogging/status sites (Twitter, Plurk, BrightKite), news sites (Digg, Reddit, Google Reader) as well as RSS feeds.
From there you can share your feeds with others, and each feed can generate discussions and commenting with your friends.
The best attributes of FriendFeed are that there is one place to suck in all your sites you are connected on, and in one stream, people can see all these updates from your recent Twitter updates, to new pictures posted on Flickr to your most current YouTube video you mark as a favorite.
It literally creates a community with a “one-stop shopping” mentality instead of running to many different places for items of interest to comment on and find out who is commenting on your posts.
While FriendFeed certainly creates a heck of a lot more content for you and great community involvement, is this good to have it in one place?
Some social media pundits say yes and no.
While it certainly addresses many shortcomings in social media, mostly the ability to aggregate all the content, it also provides a central location to track all the activities going on much easier instead of going to each site for interaction.
However, some folks, especially bloggers do not find FriendFeed helpful in that stops the flow of commenting to their actual blog, resulting of course in lower page views and if you are in it for the money, probably less money if your revenue is based on page views.
What are my thoughts on this service? I love it.
It’s free, you don’t need to install any software to use it and you use it on the web your phone, and, as I have it setup on my Facebook account, my friends can even see my FriendFeed feeds coming in through Facebook. I can in turn use FriendFeed and my status posts will show up in Twitter.
To start, simply go to the FriendFeed website and setup an account. Start setting up your profile. Add your services, i.e. accounts for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, etc. Search for people, search for topics and search for groups. Follow people and see how it works. Then join in the conversation!
If you make your FriendFeed account public then all your friends can see what is going on in your stream and can share with you, even without creating an account.
Some of the best proponents of FriendFeed are also some of the ones worth seeing in action as they use the service. If you like following people in tech, specifically Internet and social media, I would highly recommend following Jeremiah Owyang, Steve Rubel and Robert Scoble, for starters. Robert is quite the evangelist for FriendFeed so it is definitely worth watching him how he uses it to its potential.
The biggest takeaway from this is determining how FriendFeed and other sites formulate your social media strategy.
If you are fine with a single social networking website to get things done, then stick with something you know and feel comfortable with.
But if your strategy is like most of us, then presence, interaction, search and content are the reasons that you will start using FriendFeed more in the future.
Leslie Fishlock lives at the helm of Genevate, a professional web development, design and social media/inbound marketing firm specializing in standards compliant, Ruby on Rails web application development for clients all over the globe. She is also the founder and #1 Geek Girl of Geek Girl Camp, whose mission is to educate and empower every girl and woman at every age level, on every skill level, at every income level on computer technology.