I truly love Twitter. It brings me a great amount of joy, information and entertainment. Yet, what I've realized recently is that I am no longer in love with Twitter. This first hit me last week when Twitter once again suffered some stability issues under the weight of MacWorld and CES. I was disappointed. I thought we were over this. So I turned to FriendFeed in a moment of need, yet felt guilty for treating the lifestream as a "back-burner boyfriend." Not to mention, FriendFeed is a little high maintenance -- you need to really have time to manage that community to get the most out of it.
Lost, I tooled around the Internet. Then I remembered my old friend Facebook. We were quite close once but then it got that nasty makeover I hated. Eventually, however, I learned to love it's new look, recognizing that it was functionality that would always win my heart over aesthetics. I played with the new wall -- and made it into a lifestream importing my YouTube, del.icio.us, Digg, etc., accounts. I created a tab for my FriendFeed stream to complement that. I installed Facebook mobile on my BlackBerry. I began updating my status messages more frequently and saw that, lo and behold, I could essentially microblog via my status message -- and I could feed those messages into FriendFeed.
It became so crazy and mixed up, my head was spinning. I knew it was wrong but I loved it. I was able to microblog and have threaded conversations with my permissions-based trusted network in an environment in which they cannot get overwhelmed (unlike Twitter) due to the random sorting / smart updates of the Facebook main news feed.
This may not work for everyone. I do not discriminate against who I add to my Facebook. I do, however, have different privacy groups for folks who are closer friends versus coworkers versus people I'm just getting to know online. I still find that the communities of FriendFeed and Twitter are impeccable -- and you can't beat them for open crowdsourcing. Yet, with Facebook I'm able to crowdsource my trusted network. It's almost as if I am using Twitter, and FriendFeed to some degree to get to know people on a more topical level and then bring them into the more personal side of me on Facebook. At the time I open up more -- and also am able to better engage with them or their companies if I have a chance to interact in a more trusted manner.
Robert Scoble recently said that he doesn't use Google Reader anymore; he reads his friends via FriendFeed. Surprisingly enough, I'm with him on the notion that the trusted network of referred content is the best way to go. That's how I've always used Twitter, that's how I'm using FriendFeed, and Facebook takes what those two sites are doing for me and multiplies it by 10. And, quite frankly, Facebook has served me well as a powerful professional networking tool, too (sorry, LinkedIn).
I am not going to leave Twitter just yet. I'm comfortable, not complacent. My network is amazing and interesting and insightful. However I will be working to bring them into my Facebook fold. I say the same for my FriendFeed pals. I'm still not sure that Facebook is the one for me so I can't jump ship just yet. Perhaps I am waiting for that one perfect social aggregator that out-functions them all.
You can find me and Facebook loving it up here.
Big thanks to Rhonda Hitchcock for the illustration (which can be clicked to enlarge)!