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Thomas Hawk
The issue for me in the FF vs. Buzz debate is simple. FF has a better product today, really it does, hands down. But it feels like an abandoned product. Both FF and Buzz feel like they are in their infancy. The real potential comes with innovation and refinement down the road. At present I have more faith that Google with devote devs and resources...
to Buzz than I do that Facebook will devote devs and resources for FriendFeed. If I am going to invest time and energy in a platform/network, I need to have more faith in it than I have in FriendFeed today. I'd probably feel totally different if Facebook hadn't bought FriendFeed and FriendFeed was still innovating, but they aren't. - Thomas Hawk
You just gotta believe Thomas, with all your heart, and it will happen...Now to reality, I agree, sadly. But now with people flocking to Buzz, I think FB will be taking another heard look at the resources it's putting into FF allocate more - sofarsoShawn
If the the history with Twitter is any guide, features and product polish (and hell, uptime) are completely secondary to the number of people in the network. I believe that's why Google went all gmail-contact-crazy-blitzkrieg. - mikepk
Google went all gmail contact crazy because it gives them a huge momentum advantage in jumpstarting the thing. The hardest part about starting any social network is getting it off the group. Jaiku failed. Just because something's Google doesn't mean it will suceed. But by seeding Buzz with gmail it gets a huge boost and makes it much easier to play catchup with Facebook and Twitter. - Thomas Hawk
Right, that was my point, the only value in these networks is the people. Features and product polish are second order effects. Google is trying to ramp up the people as quickly as possibly with a massive bootstrap effort. - mikepk
but the bottom line is that this feels like a dead product. Facebook bought the Friendfeed team to work on Facebook not Friendfeed and that's what they are doing. While Google is devoting serious talent towards buzz. So I think Buzz will leapfrog FF in functionality in the near future. And if I'm going to invest time in a network, I want it to be the one that will be furthest along a year or two years from now. It feels like Facebook tolerates FriendFeed, while Google is really hungry and wants buzz to succeed. - Thomas Hawk
Products don't always improve with continued development (MS Word, for example) and I see Buzz's future more like that of Wave. People will try and discard it in a few months. It isn't intuitive, is kinda ugly and is tied to gmail in such a way that lots of people are going to see it, and dismiss it before it is ready for primetime - RAPatton from iPhone
Furthermore, in these types of applications you investment isn't in the platform so much as the people on the platform. If your relationships are satisfying on FF then your time and energy aren't wasted even if it was turned off tomorrow - RAPatton from iPhone
Right. It is the people. But with only one day I've already seen a huge number of my friends flock to buzz. Even sone who couldn't figure ff out. - Thomas Hawk from iPhone
Thomas, using our rational, Flickr is a dead-end product too. Clearly Yahoo does not put adequate resources on it and years have gone by with little to no innovation or upgrade. Yet you, me, and tens of thousands of others still use the product. Seems to me that Buzz gives Facbook a significant incentive to keep Friendfeed alive if not start updating it and growing it. Will be interesting to see what Facebook does in response to Buzz. - Jeff P. Henderson
What is interesting, is that many of the people I follow her in FF are over at Buzz trying it out, but they still are actively posting here also. It will be real interesting to see what Buzz looks like a month from now after everyone has had a chance to try out the shiny new toy. How many people will stay on Buzz and abandon their old services? How many people will go back to their old services and dismiss Buzz? - Jeff P. Henderson
Right, but flickr has no viable competition. Buzz is very viable competition to ff. Facebook shouldn't have stopped innovating on ff. It was worthy of more than just being tollerated. It was/is worthy of innovation. - Thomas Hawk from iPhone
Robert, you might be right... but... Google is not Microsoft and Buzz is not Word. MS had already achieved 99% of what can/needed to be done with a word processor. From there innovation was less relevant. FF and Buzz though are only at 10% of what the power of a social network can/should be. I doubt Buzz turns into feature bloat. - Thomas Hawk
also, in some ways Buzz actually is ahead of FF. For example Flickr photos are presented *far* more elegantly on Buzz than FF. Neither one of them can get your Flickr uploads in the right order (most recently uploaded photos should appear first in a batch) but photos do look much cooler in Buzz. The location integration is also pretty slick. I suspect I'll continue using both for a while, where/how/when the crowd moves though is probably really a Google vs. Facebook thing. - Thomas Hawk
heres the intended future of Buzz: http://www.google.com/buzz... - Carlos Ayala
I bet there are a lot more devs working on Buzz's interface right now than FFs. If FF is 98% of what a social network needed to be, that would be fine. But it's not. Neither is Buzz. I suspect that Buzz gets it closer in the end. But maybe I'm wrong. It's a shame Facebook couldn't have seen FF as sort of a valuable labs product worthy of resources and a way to hack around and test good ideas before implementing them into their FB product. - Thomas Hawk
Maybe they will now. - Jeff P. Henderson
i'm hoping so too jeff - Chris Heath
Well Matthew, yes, that would have been the best thing at all. FF is/was far superior to Facebook's interface. But that's certainly not the direction things have gone since the buyout. Jeff, I hope that Facebook takes FF more seriously now too. There is a ton of innovation that could still be done here. Once FF gets the Flickr photos in the right order they should consider developing a lightbox feature for flickr photos like Buzz has done. It's awesome. - Thomas Hawk
FF could easily add Photo features that would blow every other service out of the water. It is so close now. I do agree that Google did good on the photo implementation right out of the gate on Buzz. I STILL don't understand why no one can get the photo order correct!! - Jeff P. Henderson
Jeff, for a while FF was getting the order correct. But then they reverted back to doing it the old way. So it certainly is possible. - Thomas Hawk
Why can't FF do something this elegant with your Flickr sets for instance? Click on any of these photos and watch what happens. You have to admit that this is far more elegant than how FF handles Flickr photos today. http://www.google.com/buzz... - Thomas Hawk
I agree with the top statement, Thomas. Google Buzz is miles away from FriendFeed but it has people working on it, unlike FriendFeed. I'd be happy to move across to Buzz from FF but it needs more FF-like features and a community like we have here. - Kol Tregaskes
And yes I like how Buzz shows Flickr images. Big images, like photos should be. :-) So Thomas are we moving our Flickr browsing from FF to Buzz? :-) - Kol Tregaskes
I don't understand why people think it is in Facebook's interest to grow FriendFeed, even in response to Buzz. Their best course of action as the largest social network is to cannibalize FriendFeed for parts, which they've pretty much done. - Rahsheen
The thing about FF is that Im sure, if FB allowed it, there are pleanty of talented devs right here who would love to get to work on improving FF. FF has seen work on it. Twitter updates are fixed. FF has already implemented the new OAuth standard. I think Paul did mention that they would fix bugs in FF. I certainly don't blame Paul Kevin Bret etc for turning FF into a 20% project- they have jobs now. I do hope that Facebook will take another look at FF and devote some resources to it. I for one am grateful to Mark Zuckerberg for keeping the server on (and FF does indeed run on FB's infastructure) - Roberto Bonini from iPhone
Thomas, while I agree with your observation about the *current* state of affairs, that Facebook has not bought FriendFeed with the determination to bring it to prominence, I can easily imagine Zuckerberg and co reconsidering their stance on this in the very near future. If I was in Zuckerberg's position, I'd put Buchheit in charge of new Facebook development. I don't know who is now, but IMO this guy visibly doesn't have Buchheit's smarts. - Meryn Stol
Another option would be to rebrand FriendFeed as "Facebook Conversations" (or something like) real fast and somehow add it to the main Facebook as a kind of separate section. - Meryn Stol
I think it's Bret that's a VP of FB Product Development?? - Roberto Bonini from iPhone
Remember the good old days when FF was just flying and it seemed every week they were making the product better and better and better. How exciting that was. The momentum. Being a part of it all. FF feels hollow now. It lacks that excitement. And while it's still one of the best conversational networks out there, now Google feels like that. Exciting, growing, devs all working on it and chatting about it and squashing bugs. Neither FF or FB feel anything like that right now. - Thomas Hawk
I feel like part of that last bit comes from the fact that, for the most part, facebook has settled into its way- i mean, all the changes they've been doing the last several months- its streamlining, not changing how it works. Yahoo in general seems the same way. - Almond Butterscotch
fb imo is still limited: can post more than 1 pic from articles, smaller conversation screens, not live like here...its just not the same as FF especially re conversation. - Myrna
Photos on Facebook are horrid. Tiny little pictures. Photos on Buzz are very elegant. The nice big thumbnails, the fact that it auto picks up 10 of your last batch of Flickr uploads. And the lightbox thing just blows me away. I don't think Facebook has ever gotten photos on the web. - Thomas Hawk
But it still totally bugs me that neither FriendFeed or Buzz will put your Flickr photos in the correct order. It should be last photos first, not first photos last. I'm going to keep harping on this one about once a day and maybe one of the two sites or the other will fix it. - Thomas Hawk
Thomas, you mean the most-recently-uploaded photo should be on the left when FF or Buzz makes an item with multiple photos? (Just clarifying that you're not talking about the order of separate FF/Buzz items.) - Bruce Lewis
I love FF but I've to say I'm not too optimistic about the future of FF. I think it's likely that FB may just pick up what they want from FF (already got them, maybe) and let FF live as long as it can... by itself. I just don't see much input after FF was bought (or actually from earlier than then). I hope I'm wrong. This isn't necessarily related to the introduction of Buzz or if Buzz is doing well or not at all. - Jackie
OTOH, I'm more than ok with Buzz so far and I hope it gets better and better. I don't know if this will replace FF eventually for me in the future, but I admit that in the past 48 hours or so, I didn't spend much time on FF as I used to before. At the moment, I still prefer FF as it's still a complete and nice product and do hope it more than just survives. But, if unfortunately one day FF's dead, I guess Buzz is a likely candidate to switch to, in my case. - Jackie
Just noticed what a great conversation this is compared to what I've seen in Buzz so far, and I don't know a soul here. Buzz feels too exposed and too intimate at the same time somehow. - Linda
Bruce, *exactly* The way flickr works is that your contacts only see the last 1 or 5 photos that you upload baed on the most commonly used "recent photos from your contacts" screen. Also of course your main flickr page also only shows the last 5 photos (if you've set it up as I have). So most people post their best photos *last* to flickr. Rather than show these best photos, if you upload more than 10 on buzz it shows the FIRST ten from the batch, not the last 10 which generally speaking will be more interesting. Int some ways the problem is not as bad at FriendFeed because they actually do show all the photos if you expand, but still they highlight the worst photos of your batch and hiding the best by showing the first 7 photos by default that you upload rather than the last 7. For a while FF fixed this and was getting it right, but then it went back to the old way. - Thomas Hawk
I bet the FF ordering makes photos appear in chronological order more often. Maybe for your purposes it's better to ignore FF and Buzz since Flickr is the socnet for photography enthusiasts. - Bruce Lewis from fftogo
no way I'm ignoring FF and Buzz. Too much fun. - Thomas Hawk
I love the reply system in Buzz. If you type in my whole name last name, first name it will send an email (or so I've heard.) Twitter and Friendfeed don't do that. - Patrick from email
I love how you can press the "m" key and it hides things in buzz when you have keyboard commands enabled. M is my new favorite letter. - Thomas Hawk