7 Ways To Harness The Power Of Real-time FriendFeed
If you follow me, you know I’m a sucker for real-time communication technology such as IRC, IM/Jabber, AJAX. Twitter recently made me happy with their real-time election coverage over at election.twitter.com. Real-time is great for live events such as political debates, apple keynotes, or even watching a TV show or sports event. Yesterday, FriendFeed announced a similar feature for their service.
As you might expect, it shows real-time updates of FriendFeed pages that we had to manually refresh in the past. It not only shows aggregated items such as FriendFeed posts, Twitter posts, RSS imports, and Google Reader shared items, but it displays comments on those items as well. FriendFeed was smart enough to allow you to join the discussion right within the thick of things. There is a comment and “like” link below each post, and “comment” links below comments.
FriendFeed took it a step further and allows one to embed the real-time conversation anywhere. (from public-rooms) This is a huge value-add in my opinion, not only because no one else offers it, but it gives an incredible amount of flexibility for its usage. Now, let me suggest some ways to utilize this new feature:
- Use FriendFeed lists. I can’t emphasize this point enough. Without FriendFeed lists, this feature would be fairly useless. While it could be useful for some FriendFeed rooms, the lists feature provides an incredible amount of flexibility on what to display. For example, I could create an “A-listers” list which consists of the heavy news makers on FriendFeed. Once you have these lists, I could view the real-time updates in one spot. I could also fashion lists to follow certain interesting people and view their updates in real-time.
- Consolidate similar FriendFeed Rooms into a FriendFeed list. The rooms feature has been getting mixed reactions from the social community, but I believe there is a huge value in them. By consolidating similar rooms , you are given a one-stop shop to view their real-time updates. Here’s a use case: We can find Social media rooms from 500 FriendFeed Rooms list. At first glance there is the Social Media room, Social Computing Strategist room, and the Social Media Enthusiasts room. We would join all those rooms, create a list called “Social Media rooms”, and then view their real-time updates. That is just one example, I’m quite sure there are a lot more.
- Create custom rooms for your blog. FriendFeed gives you the option to embed a public room’s live feed on your blog. If you’ve ever considered setting up a forum for your website, this is a great feature to have. In my previous post about utilizing FriendFeed rooms, I talked about using rooms for discussion forums or live-blogging. With real-time updates, you can now create these rooms, and instantly have the power to embed a live version of it on your blog.
- Use the Mini-window. This feature is useful for those of us who multi-task and like to have dedicated windows for streaming news. Also, if you’re a Fluid.app user for Mac (see my video), or use another Site Specific Browser (SSB), this new feature is perfect for dedicated apps and widgets. Also, don’t be afraid to open multiple mini-windows!
- Use the “Pause updates” feature. If you’re already addicted to FriendFeed, then you know it can really be a distraction. Now with real-time updates, we all fear our productivity will fall into the abyss. To alleviate this situation, I highly recommend using the “Pause updates” feature to halt the flow of FriendFeed goodness, so you can get your work done. Part of the power of this feature, is not to overuse it, and pausing the updates is one way to do that. Also, if things are moving too fast, don’t be afraid to pause!
- Participate! Participate! Participate! FriendFeed makes it dead simple to comment or like entries as they flow. Don’t be afraid to join in a discussion! Use the like button for those entries you like. If you smile at an entry, like it! If you contribute more than one or two comments to a post, like it! The value of real-time update increases with participation.
- Manage the noise. If you find the updates are too fast and overwhelming, utilize and tweak FriendFeed lists to decrease the amount of volume. Don’t be afraid to create dedicated lists just for real-time updates. Heck, I’ve created a list just for Robert Scoble’s posts since they can really overwhelm a stream!
These are just some of the ways you can harness the power of this cool new feature from FriendFeed. Remember, lists are key, leverage rooms, and manage the noise up front. See you on FriendFeed.
Post written by Bwana