You took the plunge and signed up for a Friendfeed account. Welcome. But now you’re thinking, um ok… now what?
Here is a quick start guide to Friendfeed to ease your immigration into this new world.
It is vital to take a few moments to fill out your profile and import your services into Friendfeed. This not only initializes your personal stream but by adding a picture and a short description or bio you will greatly increase the likelihood that people will follow you back. Just click the “settings” link under you username on the homepage (top right-hand side bar). After you add a picture and short bio go ahead an import your content. (Blog, Twitter, Facebook, whatever, Friendfeed supports 58 services and custom RSS so import however much you want to share). Once your user profile is filled out and your content is imported it’s time to build your Friendfeed community.
Find your Friends
Since social networks only work when you connect with other people the next order of business is to begin building your friend list. Friendfeed provides a simple process for finding your existing friends from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail. The Find your friends page should be your first stop. Follow the simple instructions to import friends from any or all the services.
**PowerUser Tip: Import your friends into a couple of separate lists, (Twitter, Facebook, List1, etc…). This is especially critical if you have a large number of contacts. Most likely you’ll sort these friends into logical lists later but if you import all your friends into the default Home feed it will quickly get crowded. (We will cover lists in depth in a later post, just take my word for now.)
The Find your Friends page also suggests some popular users that you may want to follow and the recommendations are actually quite good fair. However, it’s wise to sort some of these users into a separate list so their content doesn’t overwhelm your stream.
Another great place to find people comes courtesy of a fine chap named Louis Gray. He has a monthly feature called “10 People to Follow on Friendfeed” where he recommends different people you should consider following. He gives a short bio of the Friendfeeder, a few of their interests, and a link to their Friendfeed profile. His recommendations are top notch and I look for this post every month. Check out his past recommendations here
Find some Groups
Friendfeed Groups (used to be called Rooms so you’ll find these terms used interchangeably) are a great way to find people and topics of interest to you. Start by visiting the Find public groups page where you can search for topics and see some of the popular groups. You’ll find groups centered around everything from parenting to WordPress. Just click the group name to see the public page.
Here are a couple of tips for evaluating a group:
- Check out the number of subscribers in the top right hand corner. This will give you an idea of the popularity of the group.
- Mouse over the icons underneath the group description and see what sites or types of content are automatically posted to the group.
- Scroll through the group page and look for signs of life. Look for the date/timestamp of posted content as well as user participation. You want to ensure the group is still active and that it isn’t a dumping ground for someone’s personal agenda.
To subscribe to the group just click the blue link that says “Subscribe to Groupname”. Friendfeed will then give you an additional option to import the group content into your feed. Again, its a good idea to consider segmenting this group into a list other than your Homefeed, you can create a list specifically for this group or you can create a list that you can use for all your groups. (Yes I know I sound like a broken record on using lists for management of your stream but it’s an invaluable tool to managing Friendfeed)
You can also use groups to discover some more people, just click the subscribers link to see other members of the group. This is an easy way to find people with similar interests.
This should be obvious but Friendfeed doesn’t reward lurking it is all about participation. Jump in and -
- Start commenting and liking different posts
- Keep track of your conversations via the “My Discussions” link in the sidebar
- Subscribe to people that leave insightful or witty comments
Soon you’ll be making friends and enjoying the most interesting and vibrant community on the internet. I hope this helps ease your entry into Friendfeed and don’t forget to follow me, friendfeed.com/tsudohnimh. Thanks for reading.
This page sparked a lively discussion on the Friendfeed suggested friends list. Many of the comments highlight the fact that some of these Friendfeed users are popular only due to their Twitter followers and they don’t really add value to Friendfeed. I agree so I wanted to update the post to include a Louis Gray suggestion to check out FFholic’s list of most active users.