I saw Paul Buchheit at the Crunchies and took the opportunity to buttonhole the FriendFeed co-founder about the usual subjects: Track, track, and realtime search. Basically, track. He told me a variation of what he’s posted on FriendFeed over the holidays, that once the team was back to work they would be prioritizing the next set of work to be done. Given the times they are a’changing and all, I thought I’d suggest a few directions while we wait for Track.
First, I’d like to fix what I’ll call the Chris Pirillo problem. Bear in mind that Chris is not the problem, but managing his feed is. He’s got a blizzard of streams aggregated under the Lockergnome banner, and while his coupon feeds are interesting at some meta level to me, they blast away significant portions of my realtime feed when they hit RSS. Today I took the draconian step of creating an Imaginary Chris Pirillo channel and populating it with Chris’s blog, Flickr, and delicious outputs.
What would be better would be a way to simply prune the feeds at the user level, perhaps giving Chris or his team a way to see what elements are seen by what subscribers. Or even a composite Imaginary and “real” spliced feed, where i could trim some nodes and perhaps add some new ones that are related to Chris but not specifically provided by him. I’m sure some of this capability is already available, but I haven’t had the time to watch Scoble’s FriendFeed for Dummies video.
Next, how about fixing the special box that pops up when I comment on one of my Twitter messages in its FriendFeed comment thread. The box says: “Also send this comment as an @reply twitter from stevegillmor – change user.” It’s usually a good idea, since I have enabled forwarding of all my comments and messages to Twitter, and I sometimes would like to specify the receiver though not always. However, if I select the check box, two messages are published to Twitter, one with and one without the @reply. If I could choose to send just the @reply version, it would make Twitter users happier.
I’d mention a realtime feed of a search, say on Gillmor in the Everyone firehose, but that’s Track or at least the first stage of it. Maybe if I suggest something even more complicated, Paul and Bret will decide to give me track as a way of shutting me up about the new request. OK, here goes: how about a mixing method where we can combine realtime Friend lists or rooms or both into composite realtime feeds. Let’s call it Imaginary Friend Lists or Imaginary Rooms.
Some blocking and tackling requests: can or will we be able to address comments via the realtime stream to specific comments? If so, will those comments be threaded (indented) in the Web interface, and will they be programatically marked as children of items so we can build our own UI via the APIs? This would completely open up the architecture and would not coincidently put significant pressure on Twitter to provide unique services that only it can provide – yes, Track.*
I’ll stop here so that more requests can be added n the comments here and on FriendFeed. Looking forward to moving even more of my micromessaging pursuits into the FriendFeed Borg.
* I saw Twitter CEO Evan Williams at lunch this weekend and he mentioned Twitter search would be fully integrated with the site in the next several weeks. Track? Still not scalable.