Normally, tech industry news is a huge unhealthy personal interest of mine, but just left of my professional purview. (E.g., a waste of time, better spent earning a living.) So, I had to dig real deep to figure out how to get in on the Facebook-Friendfeed news before it hits the TV networks, and 90% of the first-world population utters a simultaneous, "What's Friendfeed?", over morning coffee.
The other ten percent of us are aware that Friendfeed is, in so many ways, technologically and mechanically superior to both Twitter and Facebook, yet not nearly as hip, cool, or demographically desirable (I think the male-female user ratio is worse than Alaska's) in so many other ways. Then again, maybe only five percent of us might agree with that assessment. There's probably another five who know exactly what Friendfeed is, and would sooner drink bleach than cede any advantages to Friendfeed over Twitter. But, most of those people don't have anything nice to say about Facebook either.
From a practical standpoint, it doesn't matter. Most of the free world has already aligned themselves with either Facebook, Twitter, or both. And, thanks in part to services like Ping.fm and Posterous.com, a few of us have managed to keep at least one toe in Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, Plurk, Linkedin, Tumblr, Identi.ca, Brightkite, Plaxo, Bebo, and Hi5--but won't admit to ever having used MySpace. (Yes, I have 11 toes--Get over it!)
So, here's my spin: The Facebook-Friendfeed marriage ("Facefeed"?) is arguably the biggest merger in the online social space since AOL bought ICQ back in good ol' 1998. (Again, 90% say, "ICQ?") With it, Facebook will be acquiring various bits of personally-identifiable information from over 1,000,000 active and inactive Friendfeed users. Granted, next to Facebook's exhaustive, and arguably invasive (creepy?), profile settings, Friendfeed doesn't even allow for more than four pieces of information: a full name, user name, password, and an email address. But, Friendfeed does encourage users to scan their various email accounts and social networks for other users, and, like other social networks, it stores whatever the user puts into it. While Friendfeed encourages it's users to make their feeds public, similar to most Twitter feeds, it does have a "private feed" option. Presumably, this information has been purchased along with the public feeds. Though Friendfeed's numbers might pale in comparison to Facebook's quarter of a Billion users, it serves as a reminder, lest some even bigger fish (say Google) might one day swallow Facebook. And, one million people might still want to know what's going to happen with their data.
Read more @ Cloud Ave (http://www.cloudave.com/link/facefeed-no-surprises-here)
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About Jeff M. Fischbachhttp://www.twitter.com/FischTech Jeff Michael Fischbach is founder and President of SecondWave Information Systems (SecondWave.com), a consulting firm specializing in Forensic Technology. Since 1994, he has served as a board member and technology adviser to numerous professional organizations and corporations. Mr. Fischbach has been engaged as a litigation consultant and Forensic Examiner, offering expert advice and oversight on matters involving intellectual property, computers, information systems, satellite, tracking and wireless communications technologies. He has advised law enforcement, foreign government representatives, judges, lawyers and the press.
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