Is FriendFeed for Facebbook and Twitter Necessary?

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 02/16/2010

Okay, it’s time to think through the whole social media piece. I’ve settled on Twitter as the top of the inverted status update pyramid. Everything trickles up to Twitter–Facebook status updates, Google Reader shared news stories, micro-blogging and photo-blogging from Tumblr, etc.

Why not make the Facebook feed the top of the pyramid? It’s too easy to overwhelm and annoy people with your Facebook news feed. Your friends must choose between “Most Recent” in which case they may see a noisy feed, but are very likely to click the “Hide” button, and then hide your status updates permanently–and Top News, which only shows posts that have started to accumulate comments. It’s like Facebook’s own little Digg system, customized for each user. But old “post everything” spammy methods of link-sharing doesn’t work well in Facebook, because are your old high-school friends really interested that Nokia and Intel announced a new mobile version of Linux? You don’t want to become noise in their signal-to-noise ratio.

So, how to roll everything up into Twitter?

For the past year or so, I’ve been a fan of FriendFeed. FriendFeed has now been bought by Facebook. And it’s been feeling a lot to me that FriendFeed has become obsolete (spoiler – it’s not) because most services now seem to be aware of eachother. So for example, I’m a social tech news maven, reading my feeds every day, and looking for the smartest way to share. I don’t like relying on the time-delayed FriendFeed to poll site-A and post what it finds to site-B, if site-A simply knows to push the data out at the instant you share, putting the “real” into real-time.

So I decided to see if I can get FriendFeed out of the picture as the great feed connector. Google Reader now has share on Blogger, Delicious, Digg, Facebook, FriendFeed, InstaPaper, MySpace, Orkut, Ping.fm, Posterous, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and Twitter. But upon closer inspection, it only adds these destinations to the “Send to” menu in the reader. So that hope is a bust. In order to flow your social news shares into Twitter without manual intervention, FriendFeed stays in the picture.

And now for Facebook. It appears that they made this ability in Facebook “pages” but not personal profiles: http://www.facebook.com/twitter/. That’s a shame. It looks like I might not be able to get FriendFeed out of the process, but this may be it’s only use, until I find a better way.

And now, I connect my Tumblr account to Twitter directly. No FriendFeed needed here. Of all the things that I want to automatically post to Twitter, Tumblr is the only one of the three.

Okay, now that I’m rolling everything up into Twitter, I will be posting directly to Twitter more than I normally do these days. I just added a TBUZZ bookmarklet to my bookmarks bar. I’ll give that a try. Hope it works on iPhone too. I am also now looking for ways to go from Facebook out to Twitter.

And that will do it for now. Consolidation onto Twitter still requires FriendFeed and the accompanying time-delay.

One more pont worth noting that Google Buzz came onto the picture by storm over the past couple of weeks. And Google Buzz can pull in your Twitter feed automatically and directly. Ha ha ha! That complicates the picture a bit, but thanks to Twitter still being the most popular for now, you don’t have to worry about wrapping everything up into Google Buzz, and choosing between Google Buzz and Twitter… yet.

I’m choosing to have Google Buzz pull in my Twitter feed, which has already pulled in posts via FriendFeed from my Google Reader feed, which are also automatically put into Google Buzz. This makes a circular reference problem, and could cause runaway duplicate posts in Google Buzz–but I’m keeping it that way to see what happens.