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The problem with having so many social networks is that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of them all. Plus it also becomes increasingly difficult for your online friends to keep track of you. So what’s the answer to this conundrum you ask? The answer is to aggegrate all your social networks into one feed which is then given the blindingly original name Friendfeed.

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When I first heard of Friendfeed, I will admit I rolled my eyes and moved onto the next site. But gradually I was won around by the positive reviews that the site received so I went back for a second look. On my third visit, I made an account. Now I’m handing out my personal feed to anyone that wants it.

The site basically aggregates all of the networks that you use into one easy to use page that anyone can then follow. If your friends use Friendfeed, you can have their account activity merged with yours. Once a day or once a week, you can have everything emailed to you. So if you use say ten different social networks, instead of checking those ten different sites individually (which take up a lot of time), your friends now only have one site to check. If they use a RSS reader, it can all be instantly funnelled in there as well.

No passwords are asked for so your online security is assured. By simply entering your usernames, you can bring together your online activity from 28 networks.

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All of your activity for these services will then be imported. Then when you use one of these services, that information is immediately passed to Friendfeed who then update your page with the link and any comments you may have made on that site :

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So it goes without saying that if you want to keep something private, don’t do it on an account associated with Friendfeed because everything you do on a Friendfeed-linked account is going to show up pretty much right away – comments, photos, links, the whole lot. But the benefits outweigh any possible privacy concerns. Most of your online activity can be brought together under one umbrella, you can monitor your friends and this all in turn can save you an enormous amount of time which can make you more productive.

The URL that Friendfeed gives you is also a simple one to remember. It’s basically and is helpful for handing out to family and friends. There’s no long complicated URL’s to remember, no chance of re-directing your mother to a “Rate my Booty” website.

You might also want to check out Steve Rubel’s excellent post on making Friendfeed your master aggregator. Steve highlights how you can set up “imaginary friends” to collect information from sources that don’t have Friendfeed accounts. So there’s all sorts of possibilities you can throw around to see what sticks.

Do you have a Friendfeed? What do you think of the service?

  1. Shankar Ganesh
    March 24, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I've been using FriendFeed for a few months now, and it's really helped me in tracking my friend's statuses.

    Earlier, I used to subscribe to my friends' Flickr RSS feeds separately. But now, all that is consolidated with one single feed from FriendFeed.

  2. Tim Baxter
    March 24, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Just the kind of service I've been looking for Mark. Netvibes does part of this job for me, but this will be worth checking out to see if it can pull in the missing pieces Netvibes can't.

    • Mark O'Neill
      March 24, 2008 at 7:13 pm

      Please do come back and let us know how it compares to Netvibes. I'm very interested to hear your opinions.

  3. Ashutosh Mishra
    March 23, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    The Flock web browser does have this feature and it's definitely more secure and private. Friendfeed might be worth trying though - thanks for the info!

    • Mark O'Neill
      March 24, 2008 at 7:12 pm

      I have no experience with the Flock browser but with a browser, you're confined to your own computer. With Friendfeed, it's all online and viewable by anyone with an internet connection.

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