FriendFeed mapping might be cool but so what?

Steven Hodson

FriendFeed is a great service and one that I use on a daily basis. I like FriendFeed because it is able to give me a constantly refreshing source of news tips and interesting links to follow. As much as it is all that, FriendFeed has also become a prime example of communities within communities, it all depends who you follow. Recently though I've begun to wonder if maybe FriendFeed isn't beginning to lose focus as it begins experimenting with new features that don't seem to do anything to really enhance the FriendFeed service.

Sure the things they are doing might be cool and fun but they strike me as being more pointless experimentation that should have stayed in the lab rather than be pushed out to the userbase. First they add the ability for the users to pipe stuff back through to Twitter which to me makes no sense at all. Now they have added the cool feature of having Google maps show up that display where you were when you posted that update to FriendFeed.


Give me a break on this and please explain just what purpose this serves. It's like when everyone on Twitter started using BrightKite and posting to their Twitter stream exactly where they were at that moment. Sorry but I couldn't careless where you are any point in the day let alone in a play by play fashion and I really don't see the need to broadcast where I am when I post something.

I can understand the idea of doing cool things just because we can. It is a common affliction of all developers; I know I've done it to myself in the past, but just because it is cool and we can do it doesn't mean that it makes sense to do. Cool is for bragging rights and yes it is really cool that the FriendFeed team figured out how to do this but man what a totally pointless feature. It would seem that I am not alone in this feeling either as Stan Schroeder at Mashable expresses much the same doubt about the usefulness of the feature

The feature is nice, but is it relevant? Louis Gray asks in a recent update: “The map shows I posted from Sunnyvale, but it’s not relevant to the post. Hey FF, how do I pull that map?” In certain situations, these maps are just going to show the same location - work or home - over and over again, so being able to hide the maps might be a good idea.

[graphic courtesy of Stan Schroeder]