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Why FriendFeed is growing faster than Twitter

Sunday, July 06, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named sailboat.gifThe tech blogosphere loves to study itself in a herd-like fashion.  Permalink to this paragraph

Back in the old days we used to call this "Watching us watch them watch us watch me watch you watch them watch us watch ourselves watch everything."  Permalink to this paragraph

It's a big house of mirrors.  Permalink to this paragraph

A chorus of fooles and puppets. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

Today the alpha bloggers woke up and realized a lot of people are following them on FriendFeed. From that some of them conclude that FF is better than Twitter. There's another possible explanation.  Permalink to this paragraph

First, let me tell you a story. Permalink to this paragraph

I was a laggard when I started using Twitter. A lot of people started using it before I did. I figured I'd forever be lagging behind them, but it didn't work out that way because as soon as I started blogging about it here, my subscriber numbers over there zoomed past others whose blogs have fewer readers. Permalink to this paragraph

Also, the same thing happened when Mike Arrington discovered Twitter, even though he didn't use it much, he had more followers than I did because his blog has more readers. Today he has twice as many followers as I do on Twitter.  Permalink to this paragraph

And FriendFeed is tacking in the draft behind Twitter, it's growing faster than Twitter did in its early days because people are talking about it not only on their blogs (as they did with Twitter) but also on Twitter itself. It's bootstrapping off Twitter. Same with identi.ca.  Permalink to this paragraph

It's the coral reef thing I was talking about last year. Permalink to this paragraph

We noticed this with the growth of podcasting in 2004 into 2005. Once we had the right combination of features and content, it grew like a weed, growing in four months what it had taken the blogosphere four years to do (probably more, depending on what you want to call the start of blogging). It's all part of the same bootstrap. Blogging, podcasting, twittering, friendfeeding, and whatever "ing" comes next.  Permalink to this paragraph

It's all part of one cosmos (not a mere sphere), and there will come a day (I hope) when it all is unified, otherwise we're forever going to be chasing our news from place to place as it gets replicated in ever more awkward ways. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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I'm a California voter for Obama.

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Last update: 10/20/2008; 8:22:33 AM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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