FriendFeed and social aggregation

The world of Web 2.0 can be bewildering at times with a veritable smorgasbord of accounts on a myriad of services – photos on Flickr, bookmarks on delicious, social networking on Facebook, status updates on Twitter, presentations on SlideShare – it poses some interesting questions.

  • How do you draw this together to get rounded picture of what you are up to? It would be nice not to have to log into several different services
  • How can you get different services to talk to each other? If say I use delicious but some of my friends prefer StumbleUpon
  • How can you see what your friends are up to on all these services? It would be handy to subscribe to the collective brain of your contacts

In the past, I have thought that the best way of bringing this stuff together might be a WordPress blog, but this creates another overhead of having a blog to maintain and the various widgets / plug-ins all seem to work in different ways, so while there a single place representing what I’m up to Web 2.0 wise, it doesn’t work as a single entity.

friendfeed logoBut things seem to be changing in this regard – I’ve recently signed up to FriendFeed which links up your accounts on various other services and presents this as a stream of consciousness of your various accounts on other services.

While this seems to solve the problem of pulling together various bits of stuff so people can in theory “subscribe to my brain” it also plugs into your social network say via Facebook and aggregates the activity of your contact book – so you can subscribe to the “collective brain of your social network” if you will – providing they sign up to FriendFeed.

This looks like being quite a competitive space, as this reminded me of the recent Facebook changes which let you import stuff from other services into your mini-feed, as shown below:

Facebook minifeed import

I daresay that the social aggregation space will see other services and options emerge. Or people more knowledgeable than I, will tell me that they’ve been doing this for ages using some other service that has yet to show up on my radar.

But it seems like a topic worth keeping an eye on – or is this another example of people who like technology, getting excited about another technological gizmo that won’t filter down to your average web-user?

That’s probably enough for a Friday afternoon, so for anyone subscribed to my brain you won’t be getting any more updates for a while!