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Twitter’s Failure and FriendFeed’s Shortcomings

Various bloggerati are up in arms about the ongoing instability of Twitter.  Information is slightly better than it has been before as the technical folks are communicating the status and their ongoing work to resolve the problems.  Various Twitter clients fail to work, and in some cases the site is completely unreachable.  The FailWhale image has become all too common.

Honestly, I have grown to enjoy Twitter.  Is it something you need to be on?  Not really, but it is incredibly simple to use.  Nonetheless, the downtime of this free product has been annoying–keeping in mind you get what you pay for.  Given this, the most recent exhortation to flock to FriendFeed really started to grind my gears.

I’m spending 80% of my time on FriendFeed instead of here. Move over there, slow adopters. ;-)

Sure, I have a FriendFeed account, and it does some interesting things I like.  Still, FriendFeed to me is just an aggregator.  It relies on folks posting items–links from Google Reader, links from del.icio.us, blog posts, flickr photos, LinkedIn, and other things–to build their FriendFeed content. You still need things like GoogleTalk, Twitter, Pownce, and your blog.  People: use common sense.  FriendFeed is an aggregator of your various points of presence on the Interwebs.  It is nothing more.

My other complaint is how everyone is crowing about “the discussion is happening over on FriendFeed.”  Better yet, I am moving from Twitter to FriendFeed since I can have a discussion.”  If I wanted to have a discussion with people, I would send them an instant message, send them an email, or, for chrissake, pick up the phone and call them.

We have comments in blogs, and that is, quite frankly, where most normal folks who actually have things to do will engage in their “conversations.”  Most normal folks do not have hours on end to comment on someone’s blog post on yet another aggregator.  Call me myopic, but I do not see how FriendFeed is the technical equivalent of the second coming of Christ.

Great, people can comment on my blog, my flickr photos, and my various tweets.  .  Are they commenting on my blog?  On a photo on Flickr?  On Twitter?  No.  They are commenting on someting in FriendFeed.  You know what I call that: FAIL.

At the end of the day, FriendFeed allows me to catch up on things when Twitter’s infrastructure is a smoking mess of plastic and silicon.  Nonetheless, it is just that.  To borrow from William Shatner in a classic SNL sketch:

GET A LIFE, will you people!

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6 Responses

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  1. Alex says

    I’m not on board with Twitter, myself. I don’t think I’d update all that much, so for most people subscribing to my RSS is update enough. Then again, I’m one of the folks who prefers phone calls to text messages too.

  2. Alex says

    I’m not on board with Twitter, myself. I don’t think I’d update all that much, so for most people subscribing to my RSS is update enough. Then again, I’m one of the folks who prefers phone calls to text messages too.

  3. Spam says

    HALLELUJAH.

    I cannot for the life of me understand what makes the ubergeek community think that FriendFeed is the same kind of utility as Twitter is. Until reading your blog just now, I had heard no one but myself correctly label FriendFeed as an AGGREGATOR.

    Beside that point, one of the biggest reasons (maybe THE biggest reason) why Twitter became so popular in the mainstream so quickly is because of its simplicity; the moment you see the site, you see how it works. FriendFeed isn’t tough to understand, but its design is certainly not nearly as inviting and intuitive as Twitter’s is.

    This feels to me like an “Emporer’s New Clothes” kind of situation, where everyone refuses to acknowledge the obvious. Hats off to you, sir, for seeing what others won’t let themselves see.

  4. Spam says

    HALLELUJAH.

    I cannot for the life of me understand what makes the ubergeek community think that FriendFeed is the same kind of utility as Twitter is. Until reading your blog just now, I had heard no one but myself correctly label FriendFeed as an AGGREGATOR.

    Beside that point, one of the biggest reasons (maybe THE biggest reason) why Twitter became so popular in the mainstream so quickly is because of its simplicity; the moment you see the site, you see how it works. FriendFeed isn’t tough to understand, but its design is certainly not nearly as inviting and intuitive as Twitter’s is.

    This feels to me like an “Emporer’s New Clothes” kind of situation, where everyone refuses to acknowledge the obvious. Hats off to you, sir, for seeing what others won’t let themselves see.

  5. JJT says

    @Alex: Well, there are times where texting makes sense–loud places, early stages of planning, etc. Sometimes its easy to text–especially when killing time in meetings. ;-)

    @Spam: I saw your comment initially, and I had a brief moment of “Oh great, spam comments are getting through.”

    I agree with you on the simplicity of Twitter–from the web, a client, or phone, it is pretty darn easy. The whole concept of calling it “microblogging” is just plain silliness, though. My problem with the drumbeat of “FriendFeed is awesome and my conversations are there” is that it is just plain wrong. You still need to create content on your FriendFeed, so, you need to Twitter, Blog, Flickr, etc. Calling it the new microblogging platform is just plain silliness.

    Have you seen the hubbub around identi.ca. I created an account there, but I have to ask why. I just don’t see it as easy as Twitter.

  6. JJT says

    @Alex: Well, there are times where texting makes sense–loud places, early stages of planning, etc. Sometimes its easy to text–especially when killing time in meetings. ;-)

    @Spam: I saw your comment initially, and I had a brief moment of “Oh great, spam comments are getting through.”

    I agree with you on the simplicity of Twitter–from the web, a client, or phone, it is pretty darn easy. The whole concept of calling it “microblogging” is just plain silliness, though. My problem with the drumbeat of “FriendFeed is awesome and my conversations are there” is that it is just plain wrong. You still need to create content on your FriendFeed, so, you need to Twitter, Blog, Flickr, etc. Calling it the new microblogging platform is just plain silliness.

    Have you seen the hubbub around identi.ca. I created an account there, but I have to ask why. I just don’t see it as easy as Twitter.



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