Guy Kawasaki has recently come up with a new Alltop list of FriendFeeders called Frienderati. It’s very unclear as to how this list was generated; but one thing’s for sure — it wasn’t based on how active they are. Tony Hung doesn’t get it either.
One of the really great aspects of FriendFeed is being able to have discussions with a wide variety of people. People who are actively expressing their ideas and revealing their thoughts — producing a mind provoking array of conversations and debates. My biggest issue with the list is that it elevates many accounts who provide nothing but shared content. In my eyes, there’s no difference between those FriendFeed accounts and their MyBlogLog lifestream.
My comments on Chris Brogan’s post on Frienderati sums up my opinion:
I think it’s a bad way to help new folks find friends because probably half the people on that list don’t participate FriendFeed at all or have minimal usage — including yourself. They have FriendFeed setup to pull in their activities from others sites, but there’s little to no participation from many of them (not all).
How many times do we have to tell folks to participate in communities if you want to get value? The value isn’t in the content they are sharing, it’s found by interacting with the community and sharing opinions and starting discussions.
… I’m not saying that you HAVE to comment and like stuff in FriendFeed — you can just read or use it anyway you want to. But I wouldn’t recommend that new readers follow someone who only pulls in shared content.
Chances are there are others around who are having discussions around that same content — which is where I believe the value is.
So am I overreacting? Let’s look at a some of the Frienderati’s activity in the past week and you decide; staring from the top (and skipping a lot of names — this is by no means a perfectly representative sample). Keep in mind, the some entries pulled in automatically count as a comment, such as Disqus, StumbleUpon notes, Del.icio.us notes, etc.:
- Alex De Carvalho: 2 comments, 2 likes
- Adam Ostrow: 1 comment, 1 like
- Aliza Sherman: No activity
- Amber Mac: No activity
- Andrew Chen: 1 comment, 0 likes
- Burt Lum: No activity
- David Sifry: 1 comment, 0 likes
- Emily Chang No activity
- Fred Wilson: 92 comments, 0 likes (Almost all are Disqus entries or Del.icio.us. notes)
- Gabe Rivera: 6 comments, 0 likes
- Guy Kawasaki: No activity
It seems fitting to stop at Guy.
Nothing personal against any of these people — I’m just using their examples to make a point. Some of them may very well use FriendFeed everyday to just read and share content. However, I wouldn’t recommend users to follow those accounts as they would get bored pretty quickly.
I think new FriendFeed users should read Robert Scoble’s post on FriendFeed participation and how to find the value in FriendFeed. While you’re at it, read my posts on the different types of FriendFeed users as well as interesting ways they can use FriendFeed.
What’s the value in FriendFeed for you? Is it just pulling in other users’ blog posts and other shares? Isn’t the interaction and the conversation more valuable?