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How to make FriendFeed useful: Drop the Twitterati

I’ve been somewhat sceptical about FriendFeed, the aggregation system which makes it easy to subscribe to and comment on everything your friends are doing online. The sheer volume of links, comments and so on that flow through it make it a pain in the behind to actually use, with the signal overwhelmed by the noise.

And then I discovered the secret of FriendFeed: drop the Twitterati. You know – the group of people obsessed with social media who’ve made the jump from Twitter to FriendFeed and spend most of their time talking about how FriendFeed is better than Twitter, how FriendFeed is better than Google Reader, how it’s better than Facebook. Their next step will probably be to talk incessantly about how FriendFeed is better than cupcakes.

So out went Scoble, out went Steve Rubel (sorry Steve), and out went Louis Gray. Basically, if you’d mentioned "FriendFeed" more than once in the past day or two, or posted anything of which the basic content was "hey, FriendFeed – it’s going to be BIGGER THAN GOD" out you went.

The best thing about the whole process is that it doesn’t mean that I miss out on interesting things that these guys post: friends will "Like" the interesting stuff, which means it shows up in my stream. It’s like having my own team of friendly editors, culling the waffle.

FriendFeed is now about 300% more useful. Rather than dipping into once every few days and finding that, yes, everyone is still talking about FriendFeed, I’m finding new and interesting stuff, from people I don’t know. Isn’t that what it’s really supposed to be about?

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