Tag Archives: friendfeed

Demystifying Social Media Tools and Techniques

I was in Eugene today to talk to the Willamette Valley AMA about social media. The presentation was similar to the one that I gave earlier this year at WebVisions, but with a few more details on how to use some of the various tools. Here are the topics that I covered and a copy of my slides.

  • Guiding Principles & Strategy for Participation
  • Social Media Activities / Tools
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • FriendFeed
    • Blogging
  • Monitoring
    • RSS
    • Monitoring Twitter
    • Yahoo Pipes
  • Managing your social media efforts

Contact me if you would like to have me train your company on online communities or social media.

Related Fast Wonder blog posts:

Social Media Training

I wanted to share a quick presentation that I used to train a client on general social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Monitoring / Yahoo Pipes, FriendFeed and more. I’ve embedded the presentation and included a set of links that were part of the demos provided throughout the presentation.


The demo links for this presentation can be found on Agglom.

Contact me if you would like to have me train your company on online communities or social media.

Related Fast Wonder blog posts:

My Strategy for Keeping Up with People & Info at SXSW

This afternoon, Katherine Gray (aka @thiskat) asked me about my strategy for keeping up with everything at sxsw, and I realized that I didn’t really have one. Here’s a start of one, but I would love to hear what tools other people are using.

Finding People

Last year, I mostly used Twitter to find the best parties, find friends for lunch, and get suggestions for sessions. The problem with using Twitter to find people is that Tweets about someone being at the Iron Cactus for lunch get lost among the stream of people sharing information, especially at an event like sxsw where information sharing frequently reaches firehose status.

This year, I will be using Shizzow to find the my friends for parties, lunches, sessions, drinks, and did I mention parties? Since Shizzow is location-based, it will be easy to find places where groups of my friends are congregating. The iPhone and android apps are still under development, but m.shizzow.com works pretty well on most devices, including the iPhone. I’ll also be using Shizzeeps to find groups of people using Shizzow who are all at the same location.

We opened Shizzow up to the public last week, so anyone can join without an invite. I recommend getting an account and playing around with it before you leave for Austin.

Finding Information

Last year, I put together a Twitter filter for sxsw pipe that took my with friends rss feed and filtered for mentions of sxsw. I’m still bummed that Twitter took away the with friends RSS feed. Well technically you can get it, but it requires authentication, which makes it relatively useless for many uses.

This year, I’m going to rely more heavily on FriendFeed, which does allow me to get an RSS feed of my friends filtered for sxsw.

Step 1: Make sure your Twitter friends are also your FriendFeed friends. Friendfeed has a Twitter tool that looks for anyone you are currently following on Twitter who is also on FriendFeed and isn’t already listed as a friend.

Step 2: Get your RSS feed. You can go to the advanced search and set up your query. I recommend adding ‘&num=100’ to the end of your RSS feed output from the query to get a few more results in the RSS feed, since many readers aren’t set up to poll very often. You could also just take my RSS feed and replace my username (geekygirldawn) with yours: http://friendfeed.com/search?q=sxsw&required=q&friends=geekygirldawn&format=rss&num=100

Step 3: Put the results in a mobile web browser that you can access from your phone, and change your settings to poll the feed more often if you have that option. I’ll be using NetNewsWire.

You may be thinking … “What, no Yahoo Pipe?” This seemed like the easiest way so far, and Yahoo Pipes has some additional delays before the feed is updated, so this will probably give me the information more quickly. I may still end up with a Yahoo Pipe to do some complex filtering if I’m getting too much noise from things that I just don’t care about in my feed.

I’m a big fan of reducing signal to noise. There are other ways to get all of the information about sxsw without filtering it for just my friends (Twitter search for sxsw, etc.), but I was afraid of turning on that firehose and drowning in data.

What tools are you planning to use to keep up at SXSW? I’d love to hear other suggestions in the comments.

Web Technology: Impact on Social Media and Community

In a recent Wired News Article, 6 New Web Technologies of 2008 You Need to Use Now, Michael Calore talks about several web technologies that are already important for social media and online communities, but will continue to be increasingly important in 2009.

Identity Management. With all of the buzz behind OpenID, Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect in 2008, will we finally be able to better integrate our profile data, friend lists, and other identity data to be able to better manage our information in 2009? While the big social networks have already been looking at ways to implement these technologies, smaller and niche social networks and communities (including corporate communties) will need to start thinking about them in 2009. How will you make it easier for your members to join a community while bringing any appropriate identity information along with them?

Lifestreaming. Most of us have accounts on dozens of different sites, so services like FriendFeed have been popping up to help pull our updates and those of our friends into a single stream where they can be more easily consumed. Does your niche social network or corporate community have an rss feed of each member’s activity and have you encouraged them to add this feed to their FriendFeed account?

Location Awareness. I spend quite a bit of time thinking about interesting ways to use location information as a part of my work with Shizzow. For me, location awareness is all about merging our online identities with real world interactions with real people. While it might be interesting to know that a friend of mine is visiting some exotic far away city, I am more interested in being able to find friends right now to get together for coworking, tea, or a couple of drinks at happy hour. How can you use location information to help your community members get together in the real world for meetups?

I hope this provides a little food for thought as you think about your social media and online community plans for 2009.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

FriendFeed Stats and Analysis

Internet Duct Tape recently posted an interesting analysis of a bunch of different FriendFeed stats broken down into 5 trends. I won’t cover them all here, but there were a few points that I found particularly interesting.

Twitter accounts for almost half of all items on FriendFeed, and 90% of the items come from the top 8 services (Twitter, Blog, Google Reader, del.icio.us, Digg, Tumblr, YouTube, StumbleUpon). Anecdotally, I’ve noticed this trend within my own feeds. In fact, the Twitter traffic was so overwhelming that I decided to filter it out entirely with a FriendFeed Minus Twitter pipe.

I was also surprised and sad to see that Ma.gnolia was in the bottom 1% of services used. I like it so much more than del.icio.us, and it seems to also get a lot of usage from my friends. We must be atypical when compared to the broader group.

It also looks like FriendFeed is addressing some of the comment issues, starting with the ability to send an @ response directly to Twitter when someone comments on a Twitter item in FriendFeed. Now, if they would only find a way to do it with other services, like blogs. It would be great if a comment on a blog post in FriendFeed would also find its way back as a comment on the blog post. Ideally, I would love to see FriendFeed find better ways of dealing with comments so that I don’t need to use the FriendFeed Comment Finder pipe that I created to make it easier to find comments in FriendFeed.

While I think that FriendFeed is cool, I find that I have a hard time using it. So much of the information is duplicated for me. I already have feeds of people’s blogs, Ma.gnolia links, etc. I do find interesting things that I have missed in my regular feeds, but I haven’t quite decided if it is worth the time invested.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Solution to Missed FriendFeed Comments: FriendFeed Comment Finder

A bunch of people have been talking about how FriendFeed allows people to comment on content within FriendFeed. This means that we have to log into friend feed every day and scour for comments, which remain fragmented from the source of the content. I can’t fix the fragmentation, but I think I have part of a solution (implemented as a Yahoo Pipe, of course).

The FriendFeed Comment Finder attempts to find content with comments or that people have marked as “liked”.

Important Caveats:

  • Consider this highly experimental right now. Suggestions are welcome!
  • FriendFeed has really convoluted feed structures, and this pipe is implemented in a crappy way right now.
  • The feeds from FriendFeed seem really truncated with only the few most recent entries appearing. If you are using something like NetNewsWire, you should set persistence for x days, and not until they disappear from feed.
  • I also suspect it might be missing a few comments, but haven’t been able to isolate this from the above problem. If you can find a pattern, please let me know.

To use the FriendFeed Comment Finder, enter your FriendFeed username, click “run pipe”, and then grab the RSS feed from “More Options”. Note that I think it is only picking up recent comments.

Related Fast Wonder Blog Posts:

FriendFeed Minus Twitter

I am apparently obsessed with Yahoo Pipes (again). Aaron Hockley just wished for a way to get a FriendFeed, but without all of the annoying Twitter posts that overwhelm the feed. At that point Todd Kenefsky walked by and said, “I bet you could do that with a Yahoo Pipe.” Obsession resumed … bedtime postponed.

I just had to oblige. Use this FriendFeed Minus Twitter Yahoo Pipe to get a nice little RSS feed of your FriendFeed without the million Tweets. Simply grab the RSS feed from your “friends” page, enter it into the box on the pipe, and grab the rss feed output 🙂

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

FriendFeed Becomes Useful by Adding Search

I really wanted FriendFeed to be useful for me; however, I was having a hard time really finding much use for it … until they added a search feature. Until now, I found that my FriendFeed content was completely useless due to being overwhelmed by Twitter, which has orders of magnitude more traffic than any other service. I tried tracking my friends using RSS, but almost everything was Twitter, and since I follow most of them on Twitter already, almost all of the content was duplicated.

With the addition of search, I can see myself using it to quickly find friends who have expertise or who are at least talking about a topic. For example, a quick search on “OAuth” tells me that Chris Messina and David Recordon are talking about it the most (big surprise), and a search for “startupalooza” shows me some interesting bookmarks and discussions about the upcoming event. This is a great way to quickly find friends with knowledge about a topic along with their bookmarks, Twitter thoughts, and blog posts. Very cool addition to the service IMHO.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

FriendFeed: Stalk your Friends

Yet another friend-stalking social networking service to help us keep track of every move our friends are making. At first glance, it really does seem like an easy way to create and follow life streams of other people. FriendFeed makes it easy to add accounts from most of the top social networking sites and a few of the niche sites that don’t always get included (Magnolia and Vimeo, for example).

A bunch of people have been jumping on it today, and the performance has been a little shaky. I’ve also been having some issues getting Netvibes to accept the feed. Let’s hope they are able to quickly scale and work out a few of the bugs using some of that $5M in venture funding.

Feel free to follow me on FriendFeed.