How did FriendFeed suddenly become controversial?
Now I have nothing but positive things to say about FF. It’s the first web service in a very long time that has changed the way I use the net and interact with my online friend. To me, that’s very powerful.
I think a lot of people, including Duncan, are looking at FriendFeed and see it as just another aggregator where you put your stuff in for others to read and that’s it. But that is only half (or even a lot less) of the story.
The real power of FriendFeed, as Steven Hodson points out in one of his signature cranky rants, is in the discussions it facilitates. It’s about participation, not just passive consumption. It is not just a place where you can find stuff – it’s a place to discuss that stuff with your friends.
It seems this early reaction to FF is very much like the early reaction to Twitter. Very few of the early users saw that it wasn’t just a one-way street where you tell people what you are doing, but that it could be used as a powerful communications tool.
For a lot of people, Friendfeeds sudden popularity became a nice staging ground for repeating their old arguments against Twitter and social networks. But a lot of those grumps slowly came around to using Twitter (including myself) – and I have a feeling sooner or later, they will ‘get’ Friendfeed as well. And if they don’t – it’s their loss.
p.s. if you want to see a nice example of the hubris of Techcrunch, have a look at this comment by Erick Schonfeld on FriendFeed:
Eh, you win some you lose some. You guys are lucky we covered you twice. I’m sure nobody here would be complaining if I had put that poll at the end of my post: http://www.techcrunch.com/2008… – Erick Schonfeld