Sunday, May 4, 2008

Friends May Be the Best Guide Through the Noise

From The New York Times - CATHY BROOKS is a typically unapologetic Silicon Valley Web addict. Last week alone, she produced more than 40 pithy updates on the text messaging service Twitter, uploaded two dozen videos to various video sharing sites, posted seven photographs on the Yahoo image service Flickr and one item to the online community calendar Upcoming.

Her friends, similarly peripatetic in their Web journeys, also liberally sprinkled photos, videos, blog items and news-article links across the Internet.

But they all followed one another’s activities in one place: a buzzy, online water cooler called FriendFeed that lets people funnel all their online activities into a single information broadcast, and then blast that broadcast to anyone who wants to listen in.

“It’s a great catch-all way for me to have all my stuff in one place, and it lets me see a more comprehensive view of the ecosystem of my friends,” said Ms. Brooks, 39, a business development director at an online video start-up company in San Francisco.

Companies like FriendFeed — and there seem to be a growing number of them these days — are trying to solve a problem that the Internet itself created. The proliferating number of blogs, user-generated content services and online news sources has created a dense information jungle that no human could machete his or her way through in a lifetime, let alone in an afternoon of surreptitious procrastination at work. | Read full article

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