February 15, 2008

FriendFeed Admits They Know Me Pretty Well

Of all the different sites I've talked about over the last year which look to bring people together with similar interests and shared viewing habits, none has driven more consistent activity and real sense of community than FriendFeed. The site offers friends a meeting place to aggregate, follow, and interact with a diversified set of Web services. Starting first as a centralized in box for all my activity across the Web, it's added social functions with comments and "Likes", the ability to post directly to the site, and now, as of yesterday, FriendFeed has unveiled a sweet set of statistics worth obsessing over.

FriendFeed co-founder Bret Taylor, in a blog post titled "Personalized FriendFeed stats", shows how the team rolled out a set of simple graphs, showing the top ten people I find most interesting, the top ten people who find me interesting, what types of services my friends like, and what are the top sites which I like. People I find interesting are tabulated by entries I've commented on or liked, and top sites are determined by the last 30 days of my activity.

Looking at these statistics at first glance, I'd have to say there aren't any major surprises.

I have a pretty good idea whose updates I most look forward to, including those of FriendFeeders Paul Buchheit, Bret Taylor and Kevin Fox, B-Listers MG Siegler and Frederic Lardinois, Mashable's Mark Hopkins, RSSMeme's Benjamin Golub, and Mathew Ingram.

I also knew that the highest percentage of activity I deliver to my own FriendFeed is through my Google Reader shared items. Nothing can compare to it in sheer volume. Lagging behind Google Reader for me are Twitter, Del.icio.us, louisgray.com and FriendFeed itself. Of more interest was seeing how my friends' top sites show Twitter almost equal to that of Google Reader, and del.icio.us playing a smaller role, with Digg and Reddit breaking out of the "Other" category.

Also extremely interesting (and humbling) was seeing the stats from Bret Taylor and Paul Buchheit.

Paul Buchheit's statistics (shared on Flickr) show me as the FriendFeeder he finds most interesting, narrowly beating out his own wife, Jess Lee of the Google Maps team, Bret Taylor and MG Siegler.

Meanwhile, Bret Taylor had me in the #3 overall position, behind Paul and Jess. Not too shabby.

Now, the question is, with these stats available, will I try to over-compensate by using less-favored services to give them a piece of the pie? Will I start making more comments to other friends and mentally reduce those for others, to affect the rankings? I hope not. In order for FriendFeed's latest innovation to work, the data needs to be true and not manipulated, despite human nature. Regardless, it's yet another sign that FriendFeed is innovative, fun and listening to its users. Now, I've got to go back to FriendFeed and add some more comments...

Also See: Paris Lemon: FriendFeed Can Now Tell You Who You Find Interesting