I’ve been with Friendfeed since February 2008 and I still love it, but I admit, probably not as much as I used to. There have been lots of ups and downs but mostly ups. It was very exciting seeing new faces and watching the site grow and gain popularity. But over time, something changed. What was it?
What I’ve noticed:
Things got cliquey. Unpopular opinions were quickly and combatively damned. There’s nothing wrong with having a different opinion, even if it’s wrong. But tolerance for diverse viewpoints is no longer a strong point for Friendfeed, as it was at its peak.
Those who agree with me will admit they’ve held back opinions and participation because of this. I believe this is a big contributor to the decrease of interaction in Friendfeed. Where have the political discussions gone? What about the important conversations about race, world issues, etc. And I mean real discussions, not just a thread full of affirmations. This has been a real loss for Friendfeed as it has affected the number of interactions on all threads. And what we’re left with is what Scoble is troubled by, which, more or less, I agree with.
Now, it’s not all bad. I appreciate all the random stuff that pops up on Friendfeed. I just wish there was more balance. It’s easy for anyone to speak up when they know most of the people around support their view. However, if we don’t encourage diversity of opinions, all we encourage is the echo chamber effect.
This is not to say that I’m done with Friendfeed, because I still find it very useful and rewarding. I just don’t use it as often or for the same purposes. Do I think Friendfeed is doomed? No, definitely not. However, I think there needs to be a change in mentality of the community.
What’s been your experience with Friendfeed lately?