It’s not about Friendfeed, It’s about Friends – A Requiem

As you are surely aware it was announced today that Friendfeed has been bought by Facebook.

You could have hit me with a pine tree and I’d been less surprised. The announcement has been quite disturbing and disheartening to most of the community as we fully expect Friendfeed to be shuttered as its features are integrated into Facebook. There are plenty of reactions across the web so you might wonder why so many of us are so passionate about a little under-the-radar social network called Friendfeed.

Honestly, my reaction caught me off guard. I’m in the tech industry and tech comes and goes as shifting sands. I’ve long ago learned to adapt and not get married to a brand or technology. In fact, numerous sites could close tomorrow and at most I might be miffed or disappointed but I doubt I would have such a visceral recoil. My mood begged the navel gazing question of, “Am I really upset over the loss of Friendfeed?

Yes, and here’s why.

Friendfeed as a technology was cool, innovative, open, fast, and amazing. It was the edge of discovery and content but these features alone are not why I’ll miss Friendfeed. After examining my reaction I realized the underlying cause of my woe.

It isn’t about Friendfeed. It’s about Friends.

I’ve met the most interesting and intelligent people you can imagine from across the globe through this single service. I now have a host of friends that I might not have ever had the chance to meet and our watering hole is drying up. I’m not disturbed by losing the technology, I’m just going to miss the people.

Social media is about people. It’s about making connections.

Without Friendfeed I would have never met (much less had the opportunity to converse with) people like Louis Gray, Ken Stewart, Mike Fruchter, Micah Wittman, Kol, Zee, Hutch Carpenter, Steven Hodson, Robert Scoble, Marco, Tamar, Anika, and Rizzn. (Trust me the list goes on and on). These people and hundreds of others have enriched my life in a more ways than I can count. These are my people. I’ve learned from them, argued with them, laughed with them, and shared my life with them. Heck, I’m watching Louis’ twins grow up on Friendfeed. When Friendfeed closes we will lose the only place that we’ve all come to congregate.

We don’t need your pity or sneers for we are a salty bunch. We will find ways to connect without Friendfeed. Many of us are early adopters so this isn’t our first rodeo of seeing a service change and evolve. Some of us are optimistic that perhaps the proclamation of the death of Friendfeed is premature but that notion does little to lift my spirits. Friendfeed was the Scholars College and Facebook is the student union. Friendfeed is full of engaging content and conversations and Facebook is full of useless updates and quizzes. We’ve been expelled and told to go play somewhere else and that stings a bit.

Adapt or die. The motto of any technologist. We move on…

We will just miss our friends.

Thanks Friendfeed

16 responses to “It’s not about Friendfeed, It’s about Friends – A Requiem”

  1. corq says:

    All is not lost. I felt the way you do about del.icio.us when Yahoo bought 'em. Granted, it's a bookmarking service, but they haven't made it unuseable (yet) and they've had a while. If they're smart, they'll keep friendfeed sovereign from *requiring* a Facebook identify to post, but perhaps plug in Friendfeed back to FF in a useable way.

    Well, okay, but it could *happen*…

  2. Tsudo says:

    I so hope you are correct.

  3. jvjannotti says:

    Excellent. My feelings are nearly identical, except that Fb feels more like the Grade School Playground than the Student Union.

  4. Actually FB has all my gold friends and FF had all me silver.

    Why is the Rum always Gone?

  5. […] It’s not about Friendfeed, It’s about Friends – A Requiem. […]

  6. AamanLamba says:

    Thank you for this – I esp like “Friendfeed was the Scholars College and Facebook is the student union. Friendfeed is full of engaging content and conversations and Facebook is full of useless updates and quizzes.”

  7. Tsudo says:

    Your welcome. It might be a bit harsh but I call it how I see it.

    I liked that line myself. 😉

    Thanks for reading and for your comment, I appreciate it.

  8. gregsmithsays says:

    http://knowthenetwork.com/blog/2009/08/its-not-

    Brings me back to 'shifting sands' and 'not marrying technology' – as my grandfather said, if you want loyalty, get a dog – http://ping.fm/vxY5J

  9. app says:

    I have said this before, many times, and I will say it again: Friendfeed is the first and only social network to capture and hold my interest for more than a week, and make me feel like I belonged.

    It was different…so very different, so very special. It quickly became home. Yes, it's the people and that is what I wish I could take with me when I leave friendfeed…every last one of them.

  10. Rob Nelson says:

    The best friends that I've made on FriendFeed are also my friends on Facebook. This trend has been growing in recent weeks, and I certainly have seen a surge again in the last 24 hours.

    No, the community of FriendFeed will not be lost. It will continue to move over to Facebook (and the next new shiny website). And with FriendFeed technology to power parts of Facebook, the level of conversation will improve there, and bring even more people into the community.

    I fail to see how this is not a great thing.

  11. so I wonder if Wave will come out quicker now? That's the only service I see that could supplement for Friendfeed.

  12. Batman says:

    I think you've made a fundamental assumption that is surely flawed, as nowhere in anything I've read so far does it say that friendfeed itself is going to go away. When Google bought Blogger, they simply slapped their label on it, and influenced is growth. I believe much the same thing will happen here. I just don't like what happened on principle, as I never really like it when a big company buys a smaller one, regardless of the sector.

    If they keep the two sites separate, as I would hope they do, it follows that casual users won't notice a difference. My fear would be that we get another Myspace situation, and the site itself becomes unusable.

  13. app says:

    I have said this before, many times, and I will say it again: Friendfeed is the first and only social network to capture and hold my interest for more than a week, and make me feel like I belonged.

    It was different…so very different, so very special. It quickly became home. Yes, it's the people and that is what I wish I could take with me when I leave friendfeed…every last one of them.

  14. Rob Nelson says:

    The best friends that I've made on FriendFeed are also my friends on Facebook. This trend has been growing in recent weeks, and I certainly have seen a surge again in the last 24 hours.

    No, the community of FriendFeed will not be lost. It will continue to move over to Facebook (and the next new shiny website). And with FriendFeed technology to power parts of Facebook, the level of conversation will improve there, and bring even more people into the community.

    I fail to see how this is not a great thing.

  15. so I wonder if Wave will come out quicker now? That's the only service I see that could supplement for Friendfeed.

  16. Batman says:

    I think you've made a fundamental assumption that is surely flawed, as nowhere in anything I've read so far does it say that friendfeed itself is going to go away. When Google bought Blogger, they simply slapped their label on it, and influenced is growth. I believe much the same thing will happen here. I just don't like what happened on principle, as I never really like it when a big company buys a smaller one, regardless of the sector.

    If they keep the two sites separate, as I would hope they do, it follows that casual users won't notice a difference. My fear would be that we get another Myspace situation, and the site itself becomes unusable.

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