Driving seat: Social Thing and FriendFeed

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If you are like me you have more social software accounts than you can remember then ways of efficiently and effectively managing your social media presence becomes a major priority. Anything that helps in that has to be good, doesn’t it?

I have been trying out FriendFeed and SocialThing for a few days now.


FriendFeed is a social media update aggregator that has the simple design (have a look at a screen shot here) that makes a lot of sense when you find out that it was founded by ex-Googlers. It allows you to have a page and an RSS feed collated from your social services. It also collates activity feeds from your friends. However, if there was an RSS feed I am more likely to put it into Bloglines alongside my other 350-odd feeds.


SocialThing is a slickly designed interface (you can see it here) that sucks in update data from a number of services in one screen. The clever bit is that also allows you to post a 140-character update to Twitter, Facebook, Pownce and LiveJournal. Imagine never having to sign into Facebook or Pownce yet having a profile that doesn’t look abandoned.

Social Media disruption

These two articles aren’t a silver bullet for social software overload, different people have different ways of consuming and interacting with information (this relates to what educators and HR people would call learning styles). Perhaps whats more important is the overall concept rather than whether SocialThing or FriendFeed is a killer social software aggregator.

Poor social media design and a proliferation of services has meant that these aggregators are disrupting the business model of social services. All of these businesses are advertising-funded. But the aggregators navigate consumers past these advertisements whether they are Google-vended contextual adverts, banners or social applications. Its as disruptive as the television recorder that skips advertisements and if it takes off Facebook can kiss its 15 billion USD company valuation goodbye.