FriendFeed Optimization Feature Requests

As I mention from time to time, I never have enough of a good thing. FriendFeed is more than good, it’s great. Greatness has a tencency to increase expectations. These are a few optimization suggestions to raise the experience from “great” to “near perfect” (as new requests will probably always exist):

  1. Discussions is a great strength of FriendFeed. Threading keeps all comments together. However, when following an interesting discussion, one needs to scroll all the way up to comment. Please also give us a “Comment” option after the last comment.
  2. Lots of people, including myself, have asked for a Twitter-like direct message (the only thing it does FriendFeed does not). An opt-in email-based scheme has been suggested as well. The only reason against direct messaging I can think of is desire to keep all conversations public. If this is the reason, please, go ahead and say so.
  3. RealTime is great. However, it does lack some options otherwise available, like “hide”. Please unify the experience across all views. This would include a Realtime option for every view as well.
  4. A person’s badge available everywhere is indeed very handy. It would be nice to also appear on mouse over the person’s picture and name in the title of a thread and on top of his/her feed. Even more important, subscribing to the author of a comment from his badge in the middle of the thread should not return us to the top of the page, especially with <number of> comments appearing collapsed, driving productivity way down, not to mention frustration.
  5. Rooms are indispensable. However, when posting, we are asked to choose our feed or one single room. This results in the posts not reaching all their potential audience, unless effort is duplicated. Please support multiple destinations for posts.
  6. Many posts are actually links. The same links are often posted from different people at different times. They also result in interesting and informative conversations which end up being held in different parts of FriendFeed. Please merge all posts referring to the same link to the same thread. More posts of the same link can become “like”s and comments can all contribute to the same conversation.
  7. FriendFeed Feedback serves, among other things, for feature requests. Chaotic as it is, it is impossible to marshal all these ideas. Please officially use a rating system for feature requests, so people can vote the most important ones in an orderly manner and FriendFeed can respond onte time for each of them.
  8. When I read posts I often catch myself subconsciously filtering by author, instead of by content.Please give us an option for a view that hides or moves the author at the end of posts (maybe in small print).

Finally, on a personal issue: I tried for a while to rely on RSS to read my FriendFeed feeds. To my surprise, Google Reader does a very poor job on catching these feeds. Consequently, I end up with 40 entries every 3 hours, instead of what should be around that many per minute during peak hours! Is this a Google Reader flaw, a FriendFeed flaw, or a matter of communication between the two systems? Can something be done about it?

My only real complaint with FriendFeed is in requests feedback. And I’m hopeful they will respond and optimize it and their response. They constantly improve things, so it’s only a matter of time.

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