April 27, 2008

FriendFeedMachine Speeds Up, Cleans Up, and Adds Stream View

On Monday, we announced the arrival of Scott Goldie's new FriendFeedMachine, a Web interface to FriendFeed that lets you filter between all contacts and close friends, and offers to strip out the noise that can occur in a site where aggregation from many corners of the Web can be at times overwhelming.

A week into its release, FriendFeedMachine has made a number of improvements throughout the user interface, including dramatically speeding up its use, which could crawl under heavy load (such as looking up all my friends' activities), separating the friends from their activities, and most interestingly, adding a new "Stream" view, which delivers, as Goldie writes in a blog post announcing the update, a "constant stream of entries from your home feed, easily viewable and sortable."

In this example, I'm sorting the stream by most commented, and deduping.

Essentially, FriendFeedMachine has taken a new approach to FriendFeed's content and made it more easily manipulated, like a database, in that while FriendFeed defaults to highlighting most-recent items at the top of the page, including those items most recently "commented" on or "liked", FriendFeedMachine lets you sort your stream, not just by "Newest", but by "Oldest", by user, by service, by the number of comments, by those with the most "Likes", or the least.

Now, FriendFeed can be sorted every which way, like an Excel table.

Also, FriendFeedMachine claims to have solved the infamous "duplicates issue" that at times can have FriendFeed users in a tizzy. By checking "hide duplicates", items otherwise displayed multiple times will be shown only once in your stream.

On top of giving a better way to view FriendFeed, and sorting good friends from casual acquaintances, FriendFeedMachine still offers the ability to like and comment directly within the Web browser. And in trading e-mails with Scott, I know continued updates are coming. But the first week shows strong promise already.