Today’s big news, in case you are — let’s just say — a surgeon in the operating room or the President in a Summit–is that Facebook acquired Friendfeed. I have several minor insights to contribute to the conversation about this:
1)Only the unemployed or underemployed even know about it yet, because they are the only people with the time to participate in the real time stream. The folks who spend their lives in corporate meetings, teaching children, or walking police beats probably will find out later. The real time stream is a nice idea, but there are entire days when I can’t dip my toe into it until dinner time. It is, therefore, of minimal utility to most people.
Today I happened to be down for routine maintenance (manicure, pedicure, hair colored) so I was available for the stream, which soon became a tsunami, to wash over me.
2)There has been a firestorm of sadness (what a mixed metaphor) from Friendfeed early adopters, and a mass of questions from pundits about what Facebook is going to “do” with Friendfeed. Do? They don’t know what they are going to do. They bought it because it was doing some things they felt were important and they either wanted to remove it deftly from the market or get a look at it up close and personal so they could knock off its features better. Or both. But it’s like when you buy a sweater. You think you know what you will wear it with, but it doesn’t become a worthwhile purchase until you find something absolutely unexpected in your closet that it updates and improves.
3) Or maybe they just wanted to make an acquisition, because they can. And because companies that make acquisitions get noticed by investment banks and maybe get to go public and cash out more early investors and employees.
4)At any rate, this is typical echo chamber news — fascinating to the people in Silicon Valley and of little consequence to global warming, health care reform, or Afghanisan. Or is it? Can we use it to share breaking news? Naaaah, that”s Twitter. So what are these two platforms, now joined in unholy alliance, good for?
5)Community and conversation. That’s what they have in common, how they differ from, and probably don’t even compete with, Twitter. And that’s why they probably belong together.
Time to get the color rinsed out of my hair:-) The real time stream is the gray going down the drain and the blonde replacing it.
And boys, it’s only business. Friendfeed wasn’t your baby. Get over it