November 25, 2008

25 Different Uses For FriendFeed

By Mike Fruchter of (Twitter/FriendFeed)

FriendFeed can be used for many different purposes.

The service's brilliance and simplicity leads people using and interacting on the site in a variety of ways, and each person's feed is different, based on who they follow, how they use lists, and what services they view. This post touches upon 25 different uses for FriendFeed, and displays how FriendFeed can be used, by anyone, for many different purposes.

1) Use it for its core function only, which is to aggregate all of your web activity into one central location.

2) Follow existing friends and make new ones. There is a good chance most of your social contacts already have FriendFeed accounts. If they are not on FriendFeed, your job is to recruit them. FriendFeed has an active and growing member base, finding new people to subscribe to is never a problem. I often spotlight unique members to follow on FriendFeed, you can locate the recommendation lists here, along with a short bio on each member.

3) Just feel like chatting? Use FriendFeed as a real-time message board. You can comment on every piece of content that is imported into the site. The content being aggregated into FriendFeed is very diverse, and spread across a multitude of topics. You will always find something that interests you. Create a new conversation instantly by using the post "message" feature, which will post your message directly to your feed, or topic related room.

4) Not in the mood for conversation? Participate by social voting, ("liking") the content members share.

5) Make FriendFeed your homepage. With the beauty of RSS, you can customize your feed to make it a start page. Import your favorite news sources, podcasts, Twitter stream etc. Duncan Riley wrote a few handy Greasemonkey scripts that add tabs containing most of the the popular social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, and more to your FriendFeed.

6) Use FriendFeed for a private digital picture archive. This idea was spawned 6 months ago with the birth of my daughter, Kaylee. I needed one central place for storage of all the videos and pictures we shot of her. I also needed privacy options, as this would be for family members only. I set up a new private FriendFeed account, imported the video and picture RSS feeds into her account, and I was done. The next step was emailing family members a link to establish an account. Now when I upload new baby videos to Youtube, or pictures to Picasa , I simply notify my family members to check Kaylee's FriendFeed url. Some of my family members have even taken a fancy to FriendFeed. Grandma is now good for a few "likes."

7) Create imaginary friends. Socially stalk friends that don't use FriendFeed by using the "imaginary friends" feature. For example, if you know your friend's Flickr username, you can create an imaginary friend with that Flickr account, and every time your friend publishes new photos, you will be able to view them on FriendFeed.

8) Looking for invites to try out the latest shiny toy? Just ask in the Invites room, and you shall receive.

9) Create a focus group. By using the rooms feature, you can create a mini-feed for a particular subject or group of people. Everyone in your room can share stuff on the relevant topic, along with commenting and liking. You have the options to make your room public, where anyone can join, or private, where you have to invite or approve each member.

10) Search for groups first. Don't create a group if one already exists.

11) Use FriendFeed as a research tool. Use the advanced search function as your first starting point. There might even be a room created for what you are researching. If you are on a time crunch and need answers quickly, post a message on your feed, or the relevant room for quicker responses.

12) Brand monitoring. Companies can monitor for brand mention by using the search function to find it. FriendFeed aggregates data from many sources, so if it's on Twitter, or being blogged
about, more than likely it's on FriendFeed. Monitor your personal brand as well. Use the search function to track the amount of exposure your content is getting, and find what services and members are pushing the traffic.

13) Use FriendFeed for micro-blogging. With the exception of a few things, everything you can do on Twitter can be done using FriendFeed. It compliments micro-blogging, rather than replaces it.

14) Liveblog an upcoming event. Simply set up a room and invite others to join and participate in the event's coverage and festivities.

15) Use "likes" as a bookmarking system. It's not a Delicious replacement by any means, but it is an easy and quick way to mark and locate content for later use.

16) FriendFeed can be used as a Twitter interface. All tweets aggregated into the FriendFeed system have an @reply option using your Twitter credentials. You could also create an imaginary friend to follow certain Twitter feeds of interest.

17) Go straight to the fire-hose. Use FriendFeed as a social media search engine.

18) Share web pages easily with a single mouse click, by using the FriendFeed Bookmarklet. You don't have to rely solely on RSS and posting to the site. This is also an excellent off-site tool for clipping bits of content into FriendFeed. You can also directly post stuff to FriendFeed by email, using Mail2FF.

19) Organize the people you follow, separate the serious from the lol cats using lists. Lists allow you to create custom mood feeds.

20) Use Friendfeed as a collaborative business tool. Chris Brogan, has an excellent post on the possibilities.

21) Use FriendFeed as an RSS Reader. While it's no Google Reader, it will and already does the job.

22) View random Flickr picture feeds. View random Youtube videos.

23) Use FriendFeed as a platform for self promotion and the promoting of others. Support your peer's content by sharing it. If you are a lesser known voice that is just starting out,FriendFeed can be a powerful platform for getting your name out there. Good quality and character speaks for itself and it gets noticed on FriendFeed. Make sure you follow this advice first, if you want to be a rockstar on FriendFeed.

24) Use the FriendFeed widgets to showcase your FriendFeed activity on your blog or web site.

25) Use FriendFeed on the go. Browse the mobile FriendFeed on your smart phone or iPhone. You can also keep up with FriendFeed in iGoogle by adding their iGoogle gadget.

Read more by Mike Fruchter at