Friend Feed and social networks generally

I suspect I already have enough social media in my life, but having seen a significant number of librarian bloggers* mentioning FriendFeed, I thought I’d give it a try.First impression: cool, it lets me import my Facebook and Gmail friends.Second impression: hmmm,  a total of one of my friends is using FriendFeed. Third: cool, something that combines your basic social networks into one place, Twitter, Flickr, del.icio.us, last.fm, blogs, Facebook, Library Thing, and a whole lot more sites that I’ve either never heard of or have forgotten about. And it’s opt-in (there was a service about a year ago that would let you follow anyone in your email contacts list, without their permission. I was able to track people that I’d emailed to sell something via TradeMe or eBay; random acquaintances; ex-girlfriends. It was not a good service, and I’m glad I’ve even forgotten the name). Fourth: it lets you create profiles. This is a major bugbear of mine with regard to social media. In life, we all play multiple roles. I’m an employee, a co-worker, a teacher, a son, brother, friend, acquaintance, etc. I want to expose different parts of my life to different people. Most social media makes that difficult, unless you create multiple accounts. For example, I have 30 followers on Twitter. 28 of them are from an online community – I’ve met about 10 of them, but I’m comfortable talking about a wide range of things with them. The other two are librarians, one of whom I’ve met, the other found me somehow. The presence of those two people changes some of the things I might say in discussion with the others. This would be even more extreme if current workmates or prospective employers were following me. So anything that lets me segment my posting is welcome.This was something that bothered me about Facebook, where my friends list is very heterogenous (OK, no more than anyone else’s I guess): real-world library colleagues, (1) other library blogger, former workmates (now my former boss), online friends, old classmates who I haven’t seen in years and probably wouldn’t recognise in the street, and “real” friends (OK, that’s arbitary, but you know what I mean, right?). I only recently found out that Facebook will let you group your friends, so that’s something I’ll be looking in to. Anyway, I’m pleased to see that FriendFeed makes it easy to split people into different groups, and presumably post material that’s appropriate for those groups.That’s enough for now, will play around and see how it works out. Not completely related, but similar: Jessamyn West and Phil Bradley have commented on their guidelines for deciding who to follow on Twitter. Jessamyn comments that her followers come from very different groups: Metafilter members, librarians, and real-life friends/family, meaning she follows far fewer people than follow her.*Jenny Levine and Walt Crawford, to name two. 

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About simonchamberlain

New Zealand librarian and music fan, living in London.
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