FriendFeed: How Do You Manage Your Information?

So I’ve been active on FriendFeed for about 3 full months, and just when I thought my love affair would end, FriendFeed rolled out a re-design with added features. With the new list function, I can organize and manage information better than before, thus making me even more addicted.

I’m not going to lie – FriendFeed’s search function is still premature, and filtering information flow is nearly impossible. Even with lists, it’s still tough to filter the constant information overload since most people on FriendFeed – regardless of their occuptions or titles, share a plethora of subject matters. Because of the chaotic, unorganized nature of our feeds (which I love), most FriendFeeders utilize the list function by grouping people, and creating their own filters. Louis Gray’s “With FriendFeed Lists, I Start to Organize the Noise“,  and Mike Fruchter “My A,B,C’s of FriendFeed” are two great examples of how they manage their information flow.  Robert Scoble even hand picked close to 200 people he feels gives him the information he’s looking! Wow, talk about dedication!

Like Louis, Mike, Robert, and the rest, FriendFeed is my aggregator.  But aside from information gathering, FriendFeed is now my one stop spot of choice for all my daily Internet needs. From socializing, news, funny pictures, gadgets, bizarre finds, wacky stories – everything I love about the Internet is on FriendFeed. (For a more indepth look, head on over to Mark Wilson’s post: 10 Reasons I Love FriendFeed. Mark sums up why I love FriendFeed beautifully!)

Since my interests range is so diverse, plus I don’t want to exclude anyone I’m subscribed to in fear of missing out on their shares, I chose to work with the features FriendFeed provides to fit my needs, and group a little differently. So perhaps, if you’re like me, my method will be helpful to you. :)

One of the best new features FriendFeed has given us, is the ability to add and remove subscriptions to and from lists as 1) when you subscribe or 2) as you go along.


Not only that, there is an option to add a single subscription to multiple lists (as pictured above). For more information on “friends lists”, I highly recommend reading it in the FriendFeed team’s words here.

Upon discovering this, I first created lists for FriendFeed rooms and not individuals, as pictured on the left. Once I set the lists, I started organizing. This works perfectly for me, since:

1. I’m in about 50 rooms
2. I administrate or co-administer about eight
3. Extremely active in six
4. My groups are exactly like me – all over the place
5. My information flow is somewhat controlled and organized

What’s also great, is there are two ways for to view lists. All subscriptions I’ve placed in the group, or a specific subscription from a drop down menu, like this:

The highlighted portion is the selected group, and the arrow is pointing to the individual subscriptions of that group! It’s so untuitive, I seriously don’t know how I was managing my rooms before. Another great feature is on the left side panel as pictured below.

I can choose which Rooms to display, and the Room name, along with the last time updated shows up underneath it. With timestamps, I’m able to keep up with the rooms. It’s seriously so. much. awesome.

So now, my main feed gives me what I love FriendFeed so much for – all the information every person I’m subscribed to, and the Rooms provide information on concentrated subject matters. :)

Btw, if any of you fellow FriendFeeders are reading this post, and wondering why my activity on the main feed has subsided a tad, it’s because of Rooms. Oh, that and as of late, I’m always parked in my “Goodies Room”, that I dubbed “FriendFeed’s Lifehacker Room”, where I share tips, tricks, how-to, and hacks from OS X, Linux, Windows, web apps (a lot of Google), to browsers (Firefox, Safari, nightly build (Webkit), IE), Photoshop, wallpapers, icons… basically anything computer related. :) If you’re interested, the room is here: “Goodies“. /end shameless plug. HA

How do you manage your information?

11 thoughts on “FriendFeed: How Do You Manage Your Information?

  1. I don’t manage my information in FF. I belong to 14 rooms and I think I’m really interested in 3 or 4 of those. I did create a favourites list of about 100 FF’ers but I don’t use it very often.

    I’m still using my home feed and just hitting F5 every time I hit the bottom of the page. I never bother to get past the front page because the info is updating so fast.

    Great post. I’m interested in seeing how everyone else is being productive.

  2. Ya – I’m not about lists. Since lists = exclusion… So I found it better to leave my home as is, but for concentrated subject areas, I go into rooms. Easier to filter that way, imo.

    Actually Rooms have heightened my FF experience. :)
    Anyway – thanks for the comment, Mark!

    :D

  3. I’ve toyed around with the lists and the rooms. I have yet to find the perfect combination yet.

    Lists for the most part, don’t do it for me. I went through, like Scoble, and one-by-one hand selected all 300 some-odd people I’ve subscribed to into and splintered them into different lists. It was a massive failure of trying to separate signal from noise. Friendfeed is useful to me because a certain amount of the noise is good. I took Fruchter’s ABC approach and gave that a whirl too. So far it seems ok, and at least it’s only three levels of lists to maintain.

    The rooms, on the other hand, I can’t seem to get into at all. They seem to have a very short lifespan. They’re like new shiny toys each day, week, or month that are fun to play with for a bit, but when the posts become repetitive and the signal of the room becomes diluted to the point of no one in the room actually paying any attention to the purpose of the room, I completely lose interest.

    I’m going to stick to the home feed and my List A, occasionally jump into a room, and press F5 a lot. That should do me. Also, did I ramble enough?

  4. I created a list, called Favorites (for now), a few days ago made up of those that I follow most and that are also very active. This was done because I found that there was too much uninteresting jabbering going on and it was effecting my experience in a negative way. This favorites list is so focused that I can run through it, participate on it, and not miss anything that I am truly interested in. Then, when I am done, I hit the home feed.

    Sure, it can be argued that this is excluding many users but I found that I was missing alot of what was happening buried under the jabber. Now, for the first time ever, I am actually clicking on the number 2, 3, 4, etc. within my favorites list. I still wont go past page 1 on the home feed if I miss it there, then so be it.

  5. I’m glad you _finally_ posted this. It’s often wondered aloud how those of us more active users consume our information. While there is no “one right way”, your guide can be helpful for those looking for a place to start. I’m glad you’re such a solid part of the community.

  6. Pete & Los: Thanks for your inputs! I’m always interested in how everyone manages their feeds… Afterall, that’s the beauty of FriendFeed. Customization your way!

    LG: I truly hope people take what we all do and find their own way. :) Thanks for your kind words (as always). I love FriendFeed, the community, and I heart you for being so awesome!!!!

  7. Mona, Thank you for posting this., also thanks for the mention :-) I like your list & room management organization. I do agree with you, it does enhance
    our FriendFeed experience, ten fold! I have yet to organize and manage my rooms, that is next on the list.

  8. Great article Mona, thank you. Mine method is still work in progress (just had a conversation about it on my FF feed and it turns out most use the main feed only) but here goes:

    I browse with Twhirl at first, catching up on random posts from my contacts & rooms. Twhirl has some limitations I don’t really like (no hide for one) so I move into my browser have a quick look at the best of the day to survey the top ‘news’.

    Next I go down my friends lists in order:
    – Best Friends (mainly people that FF tells me I like the most or are most compatible with, as well as personal contacts)
    – Best Rooms (the most active rooms, such as Confessions, Apps, your Goodies, Chrome, All Things Google and a few others)
    – Photographers (simply the people whose photography I like)
    – Imaginary Friends (favourite Flickrer’s which show their published and faved photos)
    – Second Best Friends (basically everyone else not on the lists above)

    The last list is where I stay for awhile before heading to my own feed to read and reply to any responses to previous comments, likes or my own shares. I know I miss stuff but I think I capture every area as fair and efficiently as I can. Of course I’m always up for more tips and advice? :-)

  9. Thanks for posting this, I use many of these techniques. I also check “Best of Day” everytime I’m away from FF for more than an hour. I’ll try to come up with other ways I manage my streams and pull useful info out.

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