SocialThing vs. FriendFeed

With blogs, Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Pownce, Vimeo etc, it’s hard staying on top of the social web. It’s the ever-cliché problem of “more information that we know what to do with.” The social web, to me, is analogous to CML‘s message passing model. All the modular social apps listed above are communication channels and humans are the actors (the actor model comes full circle ;-D ). Life feeds like SocialThing and FriendFeed are the anonymous send and receive primitives and without them, the social web is nothing more than Java RMI. SocialThing and FriendFeed essentially do the same thing but solve the problem from completely different angles of attack.

FriendFeed

FriendFeed requires all the users friends to also be users of FriendFeed and have added all their feeds to FriendFeed as well. Then, the user must subscribe to all their friends. Since the user has already subscribed to all their friends on all the applications being aggregated anyway, why subscribe again? It’s FriendFeed’s method of filtering. To not hear from certain friends, just don’t add them.

SocialThing

SocialThing social web life feed

SocialThing1, in my opinion, has a much better method of aggregation. The users tells SocialThing about all their web app accounts and SocialThing basically just reads them. So since I already have all my friends added to Twitter, SocialThing will show whatever Twitter would show. FriendFeed would only show my FriendFeed friends I’ve subscribed too who also told FriendFeed about their Twitter. To borrow a bit form set theory, SocialThing starts with the universe and subtracts things out of the friend set (it acutally don’t have that functionality yet). FriendFeed starts with nothing and explicity adds friends to the set.

In my mind, a life feed’s job is to basically act as a join point for sends and receives on my social channels. FriendFeed went and added a whole other later of abstract channels. SocialThing, on the other hand, is much younger than FriendFeed and only has the ability to aggregate a handful of apps. I really need Disqus integration before I can fully use it.

Thanks to Sahil for motivating this post!

  1. I have one SocialThing beta invite left. Comment if you want it. First come, first serve. []
    None Found
  • http://obscurelyfamous.com Daniel Ha

    I played around a bit with SocialThing (thanks for the invite) the other day. It looks like their approach is a bit different than FriendFeed.

    +1 vote for Disqus support though. ;)

  • Eric

    invite!

  • https://www.humani.st Luke Hoersten

    I’ve sent your invite to the email you used on this comment.

  • http://sahild.com Sahil Desai

    I’m with you on this one (as we’ve talked about). I really see a social feed aggregator as a way to see what all your friends are doing in one nice clean interface.

    I’ve been using (and I say that in the loosest way possible) since way before it went out of beta, and I just found it to be a cluttered non-uniform interface. That aside, I really think getting all your friends to join another network is counter-intuitive to the problem lifestreaming sites are trying to solve.

    Socialthing is my choice, but as we’ve seen time and time again with this whole web2.0 thing, those who release first usually end up winning :/ (in this case friendfeed)

    [I actually have 6 Socialthing invites contact me if you want one]

  • https://www.humani.st Luke Hoersten

    Yeah man thanks for recommending it to me. It’s much easier to stay on top of the social web now =)

  • http://theseventhinfinity.com Dan Harrison

    Invite? If you still have one…

  • http://sahild.com Sahil Desai

    i just sent you a direct message on twitter (replying here to make sure u get it).. what email should I send it to?

  • http://sahild.com Sahil Desai

    I found this nice Interview with Socialthing! Founder Matt Galligan: http://snipr.com/socialthing

  • elena

    hello, do you have one invitation left for me, please? thank you

  • http://sahild.com Sahil Desai

    sure thing what’s your email address?

  • http://philharnish.tumblr.com Phil Harnish

    figuring out that email isn’t even close to the hardest problem email crawlers have to solve. just a heads up.

  • http://thisishow.net/ Dream Car Blog

    Socialthing is my choice, but as we've seen time and time again with this whole web2.0 thing, those who release first usually end up winning :/ (in this case friendfeed)

  • http://thisishow.net/ Dream Car Blog

    Socialthing is my choice, but as we've seen time and time again with this whole web2.0 thing, those who release first usually end up winning :/ (in this case friendfeed)