Please Let’s Have No More Unfriendly Comments About FriendFeed

While it may not have carved out the giant slice of the social media pie that Twitter has, FriendFeed  has something truly exceptional: The individuals who make up the FF community. It is a community that is largely comprised of  good-hearted, wicked-witted and fierce-brained souls who are deeply loyal to each other.

That FriendFeed is special is something I firmly believe — even as a former member of that particular community. (A status revealed in the interest of full disclosure. Similarly, it should be noted that my reasons for leaving had nothing to do with the service or the other folks using it. If you have a year where two people to whom your family is close die in rapid succession, you too might consider spending much more time connecting with those important to you face-to-face as opposed to screen-to-screen.)

But that community is also one that has been feeling more than a little worried ever since Facebook bought up FriendFeed, a feeling perhaps best summarized at the time it happened in this witty yet wise post by Louis Gray.

Thus, it is completely understandable that the community took some offense to Robert Scoble’s comment on the current state of FriendFeed the other day. If someone hurts your friends, you get angry. You defend your friends. Simple as that. And that’s just what people did – some eloquently and some in a more brusque manner. But the reactions to Scoble’s comment that can be glimpsed below the initial post demonstrate what is best about FriendFeed – it is an excellent forum for rapid interchange and discourse rather than just a way to broadcast your own “look at me, look at me!” message. (I’m looking at you Twitter.)

It seems unlikely that Scoble realized quite how disrespectful the tone of his comment seemed or how massive the impact of one of FF’s foremost cheerleaders seemingly turning on it would be — though he almost certainly has an inkling of it now.

Consider the impassioned and articulate response to Scoble crafted by FFer Lindsay Donaghe:

Please, Robert, I know that you’re disappointed in what has happened to FriendFeed and you feel like you need to take out your frustrations on something, but it’s time to take your own advice and leave quietly if you’re going to leave. FriendFeed may not serve your particular needs anymore but your needs seem to be very specific, decidedly not mainstream, and difficult to comply to. That doesn’t mean that FriendFeed is not a valuable service to others with different needs. You don’t have to leave, but there’s no point in making things harder for the rest of us who support the service by trying to hammer the nails in the coffin while we are still pushing up the the lid for air.

You are actively fulfilling your own prophecy by chasing people away from FriendFeed and inciting people there to unsub and block you so that your feed is less and less interesting. And then you are insulting the rest of us by declaring that all the geeks have left when it’s your own efforts in sabotage (or lack of in pruning your feeds) that are making your experience worse, while claiming that you’re trying to spur someone into action to be FriendFeed’s new hero. But we don’t have that knight in shining armor to champion for FriendFeed and return it to its former glory. If anything, you were the most likely candidate. Now we just want to be left alone to use FriendFeed the way we are comfortable to using it. It’s time to stop the abuse.

How many other online communities would inspire commentary with that much depth of feeling and intelligence behind it?


6 comments so far

  1. Amani on

    Thanks for posting this Abby. We miss you on FF but I understand why you left. I’m still thinking about you and will follow you quietly from afar. Take Care of yourself and keep posting up entries whenever you feel like it. ❤ Amani

    • abbymartin on


      Thanks for the kind and thoughtful comment. Much appreciated! Hope you are doing well and that FF is thriving. I do miss it! Be well & happy.

  2. Carmen on

    Great post, Abby. To each his or her own social media preference, but to insult a community is a low blow.

    I miss you dearly in FF but taking care of yourself and family is most important. *hugs*

    • abbymartin on


      What a sweet comment! Thank you very much. (I miss you and FF too!)
      I hope that FF has emerged from this stronger and even more cohesive!

  3. Louis Gray on

    A successful service is a combination of great technology and a great community. FriendFeed has excellent technology. FriendFeed has an excellent community. To trash either at this point is ludicrous. It’s unfortunate the service never got the chance to reach its full potential. Maybe it was born too late.

    • abbymartin on

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post and comment on it!

      I still hope that FF will indeed find the audience it deserves- that it will be discovered for the gem it is.

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