Bloglines is on life support — are Friendfeed and Twitter next?

by billso on Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Monday’s TechCrunch arti­cle called Blog­lines on life sup­port. this story needs an end­ing brought back some mem­o­ries, as I stopped using Blog­lines a while back. IAC can’t even give away the Blog­lines ser­vice to a poten­tial buyer.

Image courtesy of jose.armenteros on Flickr via Common Commons license

When I started read­ing RSS feeds sev­eral years ago, I used Bloglines.com as my aggre­ga­tor. For a while, I posted my blog arti­cles on Blog­lines. I’ve imported many of those arti­cles to billso.com. See my arti­cles called This blog has a his­tory and This blog has more his­tory for more details.

Back in 2006, I actu­ally had group assign­ments in my grad­u­ate courses that required stu­dents to use Blog­lines for find­ing and com­ment­ing on news arti­cles. It was a fun experiement, but the clunky Blog­lines edit­ing soft­ware really frus­trated some stu­dents. From the reports I’ve read, Blog­lines hasn’t fixed many of their prob­lems since then.

Farewell, FriendFeed.com

Since May 2008, I’ve relied on Friend­Feed as a crowd­sourced aggre­ga­tor and fil­ter that also con­sol­i­dates most of my social media activ­ity, includ­ing my Twit­ter feed at @billso. I demon­strated Friend­Feed for my 2008 EMBA course at HPU. Mashable.com has an excel­lent descrip­tion of how Friend­Feed works in an arti­cle called How to: Take advan­tage of FriendFeed’s unique features

But FriendFeed’s days seem num­bered, as Face­book announced they would pur­chase Friend­Feed on Mon­day, 10 August 2009. It’s more of a tal­ent deal than a ser­vice acqui­si­tion, as the 12 Friend­Feed staffers have already moved into Facebook.com office space. Face­book needs the exper­tise that the Friend­Feed team already has. See the offi­cial Friend­Feed announce­ment called Friend­Feed accepts Face­book friend request for more details. TechCrunch has a fun arti­cle with pics from the actual clos­ing of the deal at Pics: The Facebook/FriendFeed deal signed under the cover of night.

I’ve read sev­eral rants from angry Friend­Feed users who feel betrayed by this deal. For an exam­ple, see Shawn Farner’s arti­cle called Stabbed in the back by Friend­Feed.

I’ve also seen some well-written responses, including:

As much as I’ve enjoyed using Friend­Feed, I knew the com­pany would be acquired even­tu­ally and the Friend­Feed ser­vice would prob­a­bly dis­ap­pear. FriendFeed.com was a real-time demon­stra­tion of social media aggre­ga­tion and mes­sag­ing — and Face­book finally made their bid.

I’d have pre­ferred to see Friend­Feed acquired by Google — a log­i­cal move as sev­eral Friend­Feed exec­u­tives were Gmail alumni.

Ta-ta, Twit­ter?

But I’m happy that Face­book didn’t buy Twit­ter. While Twitter.com is unsta­ble, brown to spam attacks and in des­per­ate need of adult super­vi­sion, Face­book man­age­ment should not waste time and energy on fix­ing Twitter.

The hype cycle for microblog­ging is also headed towards a down­turn, accord­ing to Gartner’s ana­lysts and this arti­cle called Twit­ter: It’s all down­hill from here.

Image cour­tesy of jose.armenteros on Flickr via Com­mon Com­mons license.

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  • http://empoprise-bi.blogspot.com/ John E. Bre­de­hoft (Empoprises)

    I got here from a Louis Gray share that appeared on Face­book. I can’t remem­ber the last time that I used Blog­lines, but it must have been sev­eral years ago. As both a Friend­Feed and a Face­book user, I’m hope­ful that the new Face­book employ­ees will be used to spruce up Facebook’s inter­face to make it more suit­able for in-depth conversations.

  • Aaron Berman

    The ques­tion the author of the twit­ter arti­cle failed to rec­og­nize was the role of enabling tech­nolo­gies. Twit­ter recieved its hype and major increase in users through the adop­tion of the iphone. The surge in mobile tech­nolo­gies that will facil­i­tate social exchanges will depend on such things as microblog­ging between social net­works. Microblog­ging as a tech­nol­ogy is on the down­hill, peo­ple dont have the time to fid­dle with that task on top of all their oth­ers. How­ever, as they adopt the enabling tech­nol­ogy (ie. mobile phones with social tech­nol­ogy) the adop­tion of “social” tex­ting will explode. Look at text mes­sag­ing. Why on earth would any­one text one to one when they could call one to one. The rea­son is due to the quick noti­fi­ca­tion or short con­ver­sa­tion. This is the same con­cept with inform­ing a social group. Why text to your phone book when you can tweet on your iphone, palm, nokia, etc. one sim­ple time and every­one in your social net­work with their mobile device will get the same text like infor­ma­tion. I have a twit­ter account. I never post because when I am on the com­puter, I dont think about telling peo­ple, “I am on the com­puter”. If the day comes, which it will, that I have a mobile phone that can sup­port microblog­ging, then I damn well will use that ser­vice much more often.

  • Pingback: Twitted by JohnLoGioco

  • thanhtam88

    A lot of what I see with twit­ter now is that peo­ple are try­ing to jump on and use it as a busi­ness mar­ket­ing tool, but they’re doing so with­out a set plan or even pur­pose. It’s not a “if you build it they will come” sort of thing–you have to put a lot of effort if you want to use twit­ter effec­tively. You also have to know which accounts are good to fol­low and which ones will just con­tin­u­ously spam you with stuff.

    Every day I have new fol­low­ers who are prob­a­bly just bots. I’d love to read arti­cles on how you find _real_ peo­ple to con­nect to on Twit­ter XD

  • http://billso.com/ Bill Sode­man

    I agree — I’ve been on Twit­ter for 17 months and I’m still learn­ing new ways to tweet effectively.

  • http://billso.com/ Bill Sode­man

    Twit­ter was con­ceived as an exten­sion of text mes­sag­ing, but it’s become more than that — it’s a plat­form for authen­ti­ca­tion and processes. Even if microblog­ging dies off, we’ll still have ser­vices like Twit­ter and laconi.ca that devel­op­ers can use.

  • http://billso.com/ Bill Sode­man

    I agree — I’ve been on Twit­ter for 17 months and I’m still learn­ing new ways to tweet effectively.

  • http://billso.com/ Bill Sode­man

    I agree — I’ve been on Twit­ter for 17 months and I’m still learn­ing new ways to tweet effectively.

  • http://billso.com/ Bill Sode­man

    Twit­ter was con­ceived as an exten­sion of text mes­sag­ing, but it’s become more than that — it’s a plat­form for authen­ti­ca­tion and processes. Even if microblog­ging dies off, we’ll still have ser­vices like Twit­ter and laconi.ca that devel­op­ers can use.

  • http://billso.com/ Bill Sode­man

    Twit­ter was con­ceived as an exten­sion of text mes­sag­ing, but it’s become more than that — it’s a plat­form for authen­ti­ca­tion and processes. Even if microblog­ging dies off, we’ll still have ser­vices like Twit­ter and laconi.ca that devel­op­ers can use.

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