That there is a finite number of hours in a day is a given, and as more and more services come online, our ability to divide our time across multiple sites diminishes. The question then becomes do you effectively manage this time, or do you lose focus with some areas of your online presence missing out?
Alex at Hematopoiesis contends that FriendFeed is killing blogging, because people are spending more time on FriendFeed and less time on their blogs. The post itself could be brilliant trolling, but the tone would suggest he is serious. The problem is, he’s seriously wrong.
FriendFeed is not killing blogging. If anything, FriendFeed is encouraging better blogging by providing a close to flat platform for promotion where good content is rewarded by likes and comments.
I can’t argue on the point that the volume of blog posting is diminishing, because there are no hard figures that I’m aware of, and even if it is true, there is no direct cause and effect between a decline in volume in the blogosphere and the rise of FriendFeed. I wouldn’t be surprised if volume was decreasing, and in part the rise of competing services were partly to blame, but the bigger driver would be blogging coming off its huge boom, where people who were not serious about blogging have moved on to other things. You can only come down after you’ve reached a peak, but the come down will not see blogging die, because the graph will look something like a rollercoaster, not a mountain.
The real issue identified here is one of time management. How do you best divide your time across various platforms in an age where there is so much going on, and so many places you could be participating.
The simple answer is that you can’t possibly be everywhere, so you refine your preferred services and allocate your time across them. In my case that means Google Reader (morning read), FriendFeed (first tab open, regularly checking it), blogging (follows post reading), Twitter (sidebar, occasionally read and participate but not so it’s overboard…where as it was at one stage), email (which I hate, but force myself to do), comments (god bless Disqus), and then what ever follows. Throw in some ReadBurner and RSSMeme among other sites I’ll also visit. I tend to spend time on TotalFark in the afternoon, occasionally picking up a story to post, or submitting things, Reddit over lunch because it’s always a good read, and occasionally Plurk. Night time I’ll wind down and if I’m not ready to sleep, low stakes table on Pokerstars, and the occasional tournament.
The key is everything should be allocated because without structure, areas you should be taking time on will suffer.
In terms of FriendFeed, the way I use it has changed over time. I probably do spend more time on it than I should, but it’s also a tool for me along with a great social platform. I regularly use FriendFeed as a barometer of what we have on The Inquisitr. It’s not always the best at picking good content, but if a post goes up and isn’t liked or commented on, it causes me to think why this is the case, and what may have worked better. FriendFeed is also a some-what regular source of news in itself, where by I can find content to write about, or be inspired by a post there to write a post such as this one. FriendFeed helps my blogging, and doesn’t hinder it.