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[OT] Friendfeed Feature Requests & Thoughts

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
14 years ago3,213 views

A random list of http://Friendfeed.com features that may (or may not) make sense, or issues I've stumbled upon when using the site for which I don't know if there's a solution:

1. Friendfeed seems to want to restrict comment length, probably as a social guideline for what is supposed to be FF-ideal comment length. However, some users still often want longer comments – and post low-usability multi-comment comments, missing line breaks and such. Why not get the best of both worlds and allow some power user option to have people for longer comments, which also allow line breaks. Or some other option so that it won't be frustrating for those who do want to add a longer comment.

2. Many people request globally hiding a certain service type (like Twitter, in fact, especially Twitter). We might get this option, but why not expand this: allow people to globally blacklist certain words. If I don't like any discussions of trend X, then I can add word X to my blacklist and it magically disappears. In reverse to that option, why not allow a whitelist as well for specific persons you are subscribed to; "I only want to see Frank's comments whenever he mentions the word 'google' or 'yahoo' 'cause I'm interested mainly in his views on search engines."

3. "Symptom" thinking when using Friendfeed. The longer we use the site the more we may think about implications of our actions. When I 'like' something I'm wondering "Do I want to broadcast this to all my subscribers, which is what may happen when I 'like' it?" (I'm not sure if that's how 'like' works, but you get the idea.) Another example: "This site I just found is interesting, but I already posted 2 items today, will sharing this new site push my old stuff out of the reading list of others, hence turn the other shares invisible? Do I want that?" When that happens, e.g. "like" becomes something different than info on whether or not the person actually does like the item.

4. The search box doesn't always behave like you may expect it to, e.g. searching for a name may not find the name, and searching within the say Twitter tab will not restrict the search to Twitter only.

5. What's the "Delete" button do below persons on the "subscribed to me" page? I don't dare click it :)

6. The "hide entries like this" option is confusing due to being verbose and kind of fuzzy in what it will do. Maybe something simpler like a "More -> Unsubscribe" menu showing the sub menu "-> from Paul", "-> from Paul's Twitter unless they have likes", "-> from all of Paul's Twitters". As the precise definitions appear on hover, that would also not be scary anymore in terms of "what happens if I click it?"

7. Greasemonkey script to show the avatar pictures next to whoever posted something...?

8. More stats: how many people subscribed to you, how long you spend on Friendfeed everyday, the top stories linked, the top stories linked among your friend, or friends of friends, etc. As showing how many people subscribed to you (or how long you spent on FF) may not be socially wanted by FF perhaps hide it somewhere where only some people will find it :)

9. Auto-discovery of video/ SWF/ ... content in shared stories could lead to that content being displayed right in the page, with an expandable box, though that would also be a problem in terms of copyright so it's probably a bad idea.

10. Resolve URLs: don't show TinyURLs, Feedburner URLs, but show the actual URL one will end up on; a URL contains information that may be useful.

11. I have the habit to scroll down the Friendfeed list to first open the stuff in new windows, so that they can pre-load, and then when I'm at the end of the page, I go through the windows one by one. Of course this has the downside that I may need to look for the FF entry again when I want to 'like' it, comment on it, etc. Probably not anything Friendfeed could solve, unless they would use some frameset which would be greedy and ugly and destroy the URL on top etc.

12. Sometimes I want to have "high priority subscriptions" vs "low priority subscriptions." Just so you can cut through the noise in times when you're pressed for time. Or perhaps, instead of having to make this yet another user setting, automatically adjust this to the frequency a user 'likes' something from a specific subscription etc.

13. Customizable color theme, background theme, etc. The comment color and font size is also kind of hard to read sometimes so maybe have an "accessible" theme get rid of that problem.

14. Freaks You Out Feature (probably), but optional of course: Whenever you look at a certain web page for more than 3 minutes, a Greasemonkey script (?) pops up asking you e.g. "You are looking at this page for a long time, want to share it on Friendfeed? [yes] [no] [never for this domain]" It will then be posted to Friendfeed using the text "Jane Doe looked at blog post X for a long time" or something :)

15. An API that does everything (at least if the users have a public feed), but I heard it's in development already :) . One nice use case would be to post a "read what people close to my network at Friendfeed have to say in regards to this blog post of mine" kind of expandable thing below blog posts. Friendfeed takes the discussion away from blog posts, which is fine and fair, but it would also be fine if there would be an option to re-integrate that discussion for those who like that.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

16. A "foreign language" page on Friendfeed which auto-translates stuff people post in languages you don't speak (and also links to an auto-translated stuff). Might not be perfectly readable but a good way to find out the hot topic of the day in country (or language group) X or Y. Also, the option to subscribe to people and have them be auto-translated into the languages you understand (which you defined via FF options, or http content negotiation/ browser settings).

17. A chat box next to certain threads allowing for quick discussion of items? Probably not a great idea as it will be incentive not to post in the comments box anymore.

18. Customizable avatars in the style of what Yahoo is doing for their communities? (Like Yahoo Answers.)

19. Ability to define a one-sentence blurb about yourself, or define a link to an About page of yours, which could then be shown to others in different places on FF.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Nice suggestions. Some comments:

1) I guess they do this so that someone doesn't write an essay which takes up the entire screen. If they did offer unlimited comment length – or at least longer comments, which I think they should – they could always hide some of the long comment with a "read more" link or something which dynamically expands (like they do for likes and multiple comments at the moment).

10) On a related note, I wish they'd link to the actual Digg page for Digg posts rather than directly to the dugg item. If I also wanted to Digg it, the current approach makes it tricky to do so. (I've not checked but I assume the Digg URL is available in their feed...?)

12) This sounds like Facebook's news feed to me, which can be pretty annoying because you can get things pushed to your feed that aren't in chronological order.

Bill Mac [PersonRank 9]

14 years ago #

<<11. I have the habit to scroll down the Friendfeed list to first open the stuff in new windows, so that they can pre-load, and then when I'm at the end of the page, I go through the windows one by one. Of course this has the downside that I may need to look for the FF entry again when I want to 'like' it, comment on it, etc. Probably not anything Friendfeed could solve, unless they would use some frameset which would be greedy and ugly and destroy the URL on top etc.

...

14. Freaks You Out Feature (probably), but optional of course: Whenever you look at a certain web page for more than 3 minutes, a Greasemonkey script (?) pops up asking you e.g. "You are looking at this page for a long time, want to share it on Friendfeed? [yes] [no] [never for this domain]" It will then be posted to Friendfeed using the text "Jane Doe looked at blog post X for a long time" or something :)>>

I don't know if this is possible, but how's this:

1. Links from FF open in new window (target)
2. Timer starts in FF window
3. When new window is closed, target returns and then FF can see how much time you spent on the page. FF could silently collect this info and let you decide later if a particular page was worth "liking" based on your time spent.
4. Profit

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

And the API is live now... http://friendfeed.com/api/

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