On January 4, 2008 I wrote, "Serial online publishers need a great way to aggregate their content into a single news stream." Since then, real-time news streams have cropped up faster than social media gurus at a travel and tourism tradeshow. The recently sold-to-the-man Friendfeed seemed especially promising. I can't tell you how many times I've stared at my Friendfeed page and wished I used the damn thing. But I don't. Here's why.
Ninety-two percent of Friendfeed users post to Twitter way more than any other social network. (I am guessing at that number. But it's definitely really high.) Which means that when viewed in real-time, any given user's Friendfeed page looks like a duplicate of his or her Twitter page.
It's not, of course. If you sift through it there are probably blog posts and YouTube uploads and music links. They're simply lost among the tweets.
Thinking about that made me realize a way in which Twitter is different from every other social website in history. All social media is about conversation. But YouTube, blogs, Flickr, Facebook, Upcoming, Slideshare, delicious and so on all start with shared content. The content starts a conversation. The conversation creates a relationship.
Twitter starts with a conversation. Some people join Twitter, realize they're in the middle of a conversation they don't understand, and eject. That's fine. Hang with the conversation long enough and you start to get actionable intelligence.
But the conversation itself is not fit for a news stream. Because there is no news there. It's just data exchange.
So today I pulled my Twitter feed off my Friendfeed news stream. If everyone in the entire world could follow suit, I would so appreciate it.
[Ed. - Crossposted at Ingwalson and Karsh Connect.]