November 05, 2008

FriendFeed and Enjit: Open Up the Firehose to the Entire Social Web

By Jesse Stay of Stay N' Alive (Twitter/FriendFeed)

FriendFeed just hit a huge milestone recently as developers have finally tapped into its real-time feed of updates, and provided a Google Chat or Jabber interface on top of it all, enabling both users and developers to gain real-time data about the entire Social Web. Two Developers very prominent in the world, Dustin Sallings and Ken Sheppardson, have headed up the effort and provided an easy way for you and I to receive your FriendFeed updates, real-time, over simple instant messaging. The service is called Enjit.

One of my favorite parts of Twitter when I started seriously using it about a year ago was that I could send and receive my Tweets, real-time, via Google Chat or other Jabber-supported services. I simply needed to add the Twitter user to my client, and all my friends' Tweets would come through as they were sent to my IM client. This meant I could open it up on my desktop, my phone, or wherever else I had a Jabber-supported IM client. I remember Scoble sharing with us in awe via Qik and elsewhere about how he was getting Tweets every second or more, and how amazing it was to see communication around the world, as it happened.

Now, because of FriendFeed, not only do we have access to the world of Twitter, but we now have access to, Pownce, Facebook, blogs, Flickr, Delicious, and almost the entire Social Web, real time, and you can now get that as it happens in your IM client. The premise is simple:

The First Step: Add Enjit (FriendFeed) to Your IM Client.

Set Up

To get set up with FriendFeed IM, all you need to do is open up Google Chat, or any other Jabber-supported service or client, and add to your Buddy List. You can name it "FriendFeed" if you like, or just leave it as is. Then, send: username to that user in your IM client. You can get your remote key from FriendFeed here.

Using Enjit FriendFeed IM

As soon as you are authenticated, you'll start getting updates from FriendFeed immediately. Your updates will come in the form of [xx][source] entry_author: entry text | comment_author: comment text - "xx" is just a unique id for each comment or post on FriendFeed. "Source" is the service the update or comment came from. "entry_author" is the author of the post or comment. Following that is the text of the comment or post.

Send and Receive Updates to FriendFeed Using IM.

Sending Updates to FriendFeed

Sending updates is easy! To send a new post or status update to FriendFeed, send post your message, where "your message" is the message you want to send to FriendFeed. To respond as a comment to any post, send xx your comment where "xx" is the "xx" above uniquely identifying the posted item you want to comment on, and "your comment" is the comment you want to append to that post.

Enjit and FriendFeed have essentially just given us all a Command-Line into the Social Web. Now, in one place, you can receive and send updates to all your updates through a simple command-line chat interface. With FriendFeed's recent integration with Twitter and the ability to send your posts to FriendFeed back to Twitter, you could even use it as a Twitter chat client! Now, the clencher - Dustin Sallings is well known in the crowd for creating chat-based Track on and Twitter. Will we see real-time track come to FriendFeed soon? Thanks to FriendFeed, we now have chat and real-time updates back on Twitter.

Read more by Jesse Stay at Stay N' Alive.