The Top Five Ways to Make FriendFeed Better

I’ve been enjoying playing with FriendFeed a lot the past few months and thought it might be time for a post on what I feel are currently the top 5 ways to improve FriendFeed. I’ve written similar posts in the past, most recently here.

1. Build profile pages. Users want profile pages. They want a place where they can tell you who they are, what they are about, where else you can find them on the web, etc. People like telling you if they are single or married, what city that they live in, and all kinds of other information (email addresses for contacts, birthdays, etc.). While it is true that you can go to other sites that FriendFeed tracks to find profile information on users, this is an unnecessary step. FriendFeed should develop a profile page that individual users can access to tell more about themselves.

2. Allow users the ability to rank their contacts and friends on a 1-10 scale. One of the most interesting things about FriendFeed is how they are using their interestingness algorithm to come up with a “best of” the day, week, month, etc. of content on FriendFeed. By aggregating the most popular content FriendFeed is presenting consistently interesting content for the community to consume. But their “best of” feature could be better and smarter.

Presently FriendFeed assumes all contacts of yours are equal. Either you are following someone or you are not. They make no distinction between your spouse, your best friend, your college roommate or the person that you just met last night at some sort of meetup. FriendFeed ought to allow you the capability to rate your contacts by level of interest. Where your spouse or best friend might get a 10, your college roommate might get a 6 and the person you just met last night might get a 2. FriendFeed should then use these weightings to provide you your own personalized “best of” day, week, month feed in addition to the more general overall one. This would produce a more interesting feed and ensure that you don’t miss higher valued content from your key contacts at the expense of the more general populations likes.

3. Provide a better way to include images with blog RSS content. At present FF provides you with the ability to share your blog posts, but not the images associated with your blog posts. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is frequently the case with many of the most popular daily content on FriendFeed. Whether edythe’s interesting collection of Flickr faves by theme or Louis Gray’s photos of his newborn twins complete with FriendFeed schwag, it’s the images that consistently speak as loud as the words. FriendFeed could accomplish this by simply including an “add image” button to your blog RSS feeds after they are published on FriendFeed. Earlier this morning I published the latest compete.com graph comparing FriendFeed and Twitter. This post would be more interesting on FriendFeed if I had an opportunity to actually share the graph that went with the blog post.

4. Provide better contact recommendations.
Contact recommendation is one of the weakest parts of FriendFeed at present. FriendFeed’s contact recommendations are simply a page of 18 people (mostly based on popularity) that FriendFeed thinks that you might like. FriendFeed should take a note from Facebook in this regard and focus more on the number of mutual contacts and degrees of separation that recommended contacts reflect. This page should also page so that I can discover more than the 18 that are first presented.

5. Make the “Hide” functionality work on every section of the site. At present, the only way that you can use the super helpful hide function on FriendFeed is by browsing from the “Friends” tab. When going to the “everyone” tab or the “rooms” tab or when using search or the “best of” tabs you cannot hide content. FriendFeed should allow me the opportunity to hide content on every section of the site. Hiding content is a useful tool to help filter out noise and should be better represented on the site.

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  1. Richard Cunningham says:

    On FriendBinder we have something very similar to what you describe in point 2. Our “Interest Levels” are numbered 1 to 5.

  2. Tanath says:

    Not sure I agree with the notion of ranking contacts. I think FF should use its own metrics for determining who & what we think is interesting.