There are hundreds, probably thousands, of powerful social networking platforms out there, with new ones launching every week. Send 140-character messages with Twitter. Save links with del.icio.us. Promote content with Digg. Share music with Last.fm. It’s endless.
Lifestreaming — recording your daily activities through text, links, photos, music and video — is quickly becoming the norm, and the output is outrageously addictive. We have all become voyeurs, aroused by watching people expose themselves 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Yet with the deluge of dispersed content it’s virtually impossible to keep up. We hasten from site to site in a desperate attempt to stay current. In 60 seconds, I learned that Pro Bose is moving to Hoboken, Victor Lombardi is checking out Google Experimental Labs, and Christian Crumlish is bored with the company in his head. And I want to know more!
Twitter has experienced a disproportionate amount of downtime in recent weeks, and a theme I keep noticing is a migration to FriendFeed. Just by searching for Friendfeed Twitter down in Summize, I was able to find these:
Not surprisingly, Robert Scoble is ranting about it, and ReadWriteWeb has a post titled, “Twitter is Down — Come Join Us in Our FriendFeed Room,” which summarizes what everyone else is expressing: if I can’t get my Twitter fix, at least I can find something else about you. We have reached a point where it’s simply impossible for us to let go of each other for more than 5 minutes at a time.
What’s so attractive about FriendFeed anyway? It’s a social feed aggregator, a fancy way of saying it combines all of your streams in one central location. I’ve been using it for a couple months and had the same questions that Alex Rainert did when he first joined. Sure, it’s a great concept, but I don’t love the implementation (very flat) and just didn’t get immediately hooked the way I did with Twitter.
I’ve been wanting to pit FriendFeed against two other very similar systems, Readr and Socialthing!. What are the major differences? Which one provides the most robust functionality? Which is easiest use?
This is how they describe themselves:
- FriendFeed: “Discover what your friends are sharing, discuss with people you know, share your stuff from other sites automatically.”
- Readr: “20 profiles in 1. Put your blog, photos and more together in one place.”
- Socialthing!: “Get your digital life together. See everything that’s going on with your friends in all the sites you use.”
Now typically I would do the evaluation myself. But I’m curious to know what you think. I’ve laid all the screens out for you below. Use the comments area to give your thoughts on the benefits of each service. I look forward to seeing what you make of these.
Readr’s blog hasn’t been updated since November, so I have no idea what they’ve got in the works.
So now that you’ve seen them all, tell me what you think!
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