October 27, 2008

NoiseRiver Developer Ditches FriendFeed, Claims Service to Continue

Editor's Note: An earlier edition of this post said NoiseRiver had shut down. But as mentioned in the comments, the site is expected to keep running at www.noiseriver.com, while the noiseriver.com domain was unresponsive. See Also: The Inquisitr: NoiseRiver developer quits FriendFeed, says LOLCats to blame.

In the A-List vs. Z-List world of social networks, the gap between those that get the lion's share of attention and those who get almost no attention can be huge. After months of participating on FriendFeed, and getting less of a response than he had hoped, one developer is leaving. Karim, known as "directeur" on FriendFeed, posted a long article on Google Docs called "Why I Quitted FriendFeed", saying that too much attention was paid to "top" users and "top" items, adding, "I'm quitting. No one will notice after all, maybe."

Also: Why I'm leaving Friendfeed, or how I surrender to the power of the ninja LOLCat

You name the service, and there will be complaints. Even those most popular, most widely adopted services have people who can't stand its features, its user interface, or the active community. Last week saw Mashable's Mark Hopkins leave FriendFeed due to what he saw as a hostile place for those who shared his political leanings. (See Rob Diana's comments here) Others have found the noise to be too much, as they couldn't find easy enough ways to filter and hide entries to get down to the items they were most likely to enjoy. And even more use the site just to aggregate their data, but don't participate, or sign up to take a look, but don't return - as many do for many other services.

Directeur's leaving FriendFeed is noteworthy because he was one of those working on a solution to the site's weaknesses, namely the ability to block specific terms, or to use your own interests to best anticipate new entries that would draw your attention. It turns out that not even his own service could prove to help him find a way through the noise and gain acceptance to a level he wanted to keep going. (Previous Coverage: New NoiseRiver App Adds Interest Filters to FriendFeed Stream)

NoiseRiver Back In June

He writes: "Tina (a kind friendfeeder) once said that friendfeed is what you make it. I tried to believe, and tried to prove it to myself. It didn't worked. I strived, I really tried, and it didn't worked." (sic)

Not every service is for everyone. Those which I use, including FriendFeed, make sense to me. And there are definitely people who make very real attempts to participate on a service, only to not get much interaction, thanks to low personal brand recognition, or other factors, and it's likely there will always be a gap between those socially rich and those socially poor, so to speak.

Looking at directeur's feed doesn't seem all that quiet compared to many I've seen. Practically every item receives likes and comments, the two major actions FriendFeed users can utilize to engage. But it looks like it wasn't enough.