November 19, 2008

15 Secrets of FriendFeed's Power Users

By Daniel J. Pritchett of (FriendFeed/Twitter)

The FriendFeed social network is a powerful resource. With it you can connect to some brilliant people and learn new things as they learn them. Converse with interesting people around the world around similar interests. Stream together separate news sources into a single place and then kick off some great discussions about them. Read on for fifteen ways that other users are making FriendFeed a more valuable tool for all of us.

1. Promote other people's shares with likes and comments. Robert Scoble does a great job of directing his tens of thousands of readers to worthy content via his Comments+Likes page as well as his Google Reader shared items.

2. Promote other users' profiles to get them broader exposure Mike Fruchter puts out a regular series of "FriendFeed users to follow" on his blog.

3. Run an excellent room. Zee moderates some hugely active rooms like Startup Success and Apps. Hutch Carpenter created a different style of room: The Enterprise 2.0 Room doesn't have much user interaction but it splices together E2.0 news from a variety of sources like Twitter and Delicious.

4. Share videos. Not everyone is here to read blog posts and text blurbs. Rahsheen does a great job of publishing personal and humorous videos on a regular basis.

5. Cross-link as much as possible. If a related discussion springs up elsewhere on the internet, cross-link the posts so that people picking up one part of a thread can join in the conversation.

6. Build a well-liked FriendFeed add-on. Benjamin Golub's FFtoGo was so well received that Ben got a job at FriendFeed!

7. Pictures get attention, so post directly to FriendFeed when possible . This can include repurposing Google Reader shares. Take a look at these pictures to see how much more activity my native FriendFeed posts get than my RSS imported posts.

8. Stream in your other social media profiles when appropriate. If you use FriendFeed often enough you'll find yourself crafting your Tweets and your Google Reader shares with FriendFeed in mind. "How will this share display on FriendFeed? How can I make sure FF readers know what this link is about and why they should click on it?"

9. Advertise FF and your stream outside of FF. Zee has made his FriendFeed profile the centerpiece of his personal homepage. Louis Gray has his FriendFeed profile in a sidebar widget on his site. Get your own widget on the FriendFeed tools page.

10. Bring a good mix of content. Some of us tend to focus our FriendFeed activities around a particular niche that interests us. Others take a wider approach and share wonderful things from all over the internet. Check out Mona Nomura, Cee Bee, and Mo Kargas.

11. Share the things that make you unique. I love the fact that FriendFeed has a lot of librarians like Jill who are ready to jump in whenever I post a misguided thought on information science.

12. Tend your shares. Respond to comments on your posts and the posts you've commented on. Keep the conversation going and you'll add lots of value to the community.

13. Bump someone else's post rather than creating a duplicate. You've just read a great blog post and you want to share it with the FriendFeed community like the selfless poster you are. Before linking it directly, why not search and see who else has posted this? This is a great opportunity for you to "Like" an existing post and then add a useful comment of your own. Doing this will probably find you a few new worthy people to follow. Example: GMail's new Themes feature got a lot of simultaneous reactions. You can take your pick of posts on this topic and join an in-progress conversation.

14. Give a hat tip to the source that brought you any re-shares. This is good practice for any medium. Sometimes I'll find a good link on someone else's blog but then share the original article with a comment like "thanks Ted for finding this" and a link to Ted's related post.

15. Contribute to the FriendFeed Feedback Room. Anyone can do this and it's a great way to help the FF community. You'll be impressed at the quick responses of the FF staff.

More, more more!
Contributors are discovering new ways to interact with FriendFeed every day. Why not leave a comment describing your most valued FriendFeed practices?

Read more by Daniel Pritchett at