Overview of Advantages of FriendFeed and a Few Tips — TDC Preseason Week 7

This is going to be a big “show.” Ed is going to tell you who is going to be the top ten referrers are who are in line to win the vehicle. No, not a matchbox or joke thing, but the real deal on the road vehicle. Ed is not going to reveal the vehicle though. Lamborghini or Ferrari is so last century, Ed is talking about something this century. More on that later.

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In the first part of show, Ed is going to talk only from the marketing point of view. There were more people joining in yesterday than participated in the entire first thirty day challenge. This year is going to be slightly big. You will be in a very good company.

There is a book which is called Brain Rules. It is an amazing book. When brain researches come in the last couple of years (5 years), we just know all this stuff that we didn’t know previously because we’ve never been actually watched what is going inside our head.

One little tidbit from this book about sleep. We still don’t a lot of why things happen in our brain. What they are able to do is they map when somebody is learning something and watch what part of the brand live up during that, just like what will be happening at some point during the Thirty Day Challenge with you (hopefully).

Here is the amazing thing. What they found was that when you sleep, the same pattern of learning is repeated and they see it going on in your brain but it happens thousands of times and in very rapid succession.

Also in the study is if you don’t sleep, how much that affects you the following day, and so on. Everybody thought the brain is rested during sleep, but that is not the case. Your brain is more active when you sleep than not.

Another reason is that in terms of learning, giving somebody context of why they are going to learn something is vitally important.

You’ve been learning during the preseason a number of amazing, but seemingly very different pieces of software, particularly if you are new.

In and of themselves, you may find that really cool. Like in Google Reader, even if you don’t do anything with 30DC ever again, you’ve literally saved an hour a day.

Then there is Twitter. People are starting to really get Twitter now. And this week is about FriendFeed. This book reminded Ed that the context is so important.

Preseason is here for a reason. Ed is not showing any tool that we are not going to be using for very specific marketing or communication purpose.

Communication is marketing. Every time you communicate with other, you are marketing, whether you realize it or not. A lot of the technologies that you are using show that. FriendFeed is particularly the case.

Veterans know it all sort of comes together at the end. This year challenge is going to be so far above. What the participants were doing in the past is not funny. If you think some of the cool stuff released so far is amazing, you have not seen anything yet.

If you think Google Subscribed Links is clever, just wait.

Using FriendFeed

If you are using FriendFeed but sort of wondering where you are going with it, this should be the video / summary you should watch / read.

In previous the video didn’t show you a lot of benefits of FriendFeed, just how to sign up and start using it, follow Ed, participate in rooms, etc., just the basics.

So here’s a couple of tricks if you will for FriendFeed.

The next lesson is going to be “The Reason Why” lesson. It starts to bring the stuff together for you because then Ed is going to talk about team, team work and what works there.

First off, you need to go to FriendFeed. The friends page is the one that is opened. (You can see besides the friendfeed logo that the friends tab is white.

Friends tab in FriendFeed

If you subscribe to Ed’s FriendFeed, that is a very cool way of following along.

Accessing FriendFeed

You will see at the end of the page is a list of icons that allows you to access FriendFeed in other ways, including RSS feed. You can also access the feed icon in the Flock browser.

Diferrent Ways to Access Your FriendFeed

RSS Feed for FriendFeed

If you go to Ed’s friendfeed, you will be able to grab his feed in your Google Reader. You should begin to get used to this process by now.

Adding FriendFeed Search

Notice in Flock that you also have search button. This is so powerful. You may add the FriendFeed Search feature to the Search Elsewhere list in your Flock browser.

Integrating FriendFeed Search into Flock

Click it to add FriendFeed Search to the search menu. A little message will appear that confirms the add.

Adding FriendFeed Search Confirmed in Flock

Now try to use the search function. Type “#30dc” (without quotes) into the search box and choose FriendFeed from the drop down menu, now anytime somebody has used #30dc, it is there in Friend Feed. How cool is this?

Why Does FriendFeed Matters?

What people don’t realize about FriendFeed is that it actually is a huge database of people’s experiences on the Internet when it’s used properly. And this globally will be the most important contribution over time. You got the very smartest people from Google working on this and they have created something that is brilliant but people don’t quite get it yet.

That’s because they haven’t even thought about the possibility of searching in FriendFeed.

Of course, you can grab the feed and the search will stay in Google Reader so anytime somebody types #30dc, it will automatically come into your feed reader. But it’s getting better still…

Form for Advanced Search in FriendFeed

Now let’s go to the Advanced search feature. A screen like this appears next.

Advanced Search in FriendFeed

If you want to search only shared items from Google Reader, you can choose that option in the drop down menu.

Filtering Search in FriendFeed

You may not want to see somebody’s Twitter, but you can still follow them by filtering the search option to shared from Twitter. You can search everything from your friends, everyone, or one person in particular.

For example, put “#30dc” into the words field, search Twitter, and shared by eddale (Ed’s frienfeed user name, not Twitter).

Example of Advanced FriendFeed Search

You will see a screen similar to the following.

Advanced Search Result for FriendFeed

Of course, you can grab the RSS feed for the search too.

Let’s go back to the friends tab, and click on a friend. For this example, it would be Ed Dale.

Accessing a Friend Page in FriendFeed

A screen like this appears on the browser window.

What you’re about to see is that you can also do searches like when people have commented on somebody’s feed.

See Commented Items in FriendFeed

The page shown after the click should be like the following.

Commented Items in a Friend Page in FriendFeed

What you’ve done is filtered only Ed’s stuff that people have commented on. Now think about the ramification for a second. FriendFeed is providing filters for the stuff. You can switch back and forth between comments and full feed or stuff that people have clicked Likes.

Of course, every single one has an RSS feed so anytime if you want to filter if somebody has commented on your stuff, you can click Comments to filter it from the me tab.

This is the most powerful thing so far in the Thirty Day Challenge, if you get this for marketing. FriendFeed is a database of everybody’s comments online. If you think about it from the marketing perspective, as this service grows in popularity, all of the sudden, you may find out whatever your customers are doing online.

People may freak out about privacy but they only let you see what they want you to see from that marketing persona. People will setup FriendFeed for individual businesses, people will setup FriendFeed for their characters, etc.

You’ll have different levels of doing this.

If you are in your marketplace and you have FriendFeed setup, and you get your marketplace using FriendFeed, all of the sudden you have this extraordinary database.

Immediate Edge concept: This stuff will rank so highly on Google it is not funny. People behind this have set this whole thing up to be Google bait, which is just something to keep in mind.

Changes in Signature Line in the Forum to Include FriendFeed

This is what you are going to see in the transition over the next two weeks in the 30DC forums.

The team at the Thirty Day Challenge really wants to make the site as a year round destination. It’s not something that was designed, but more of came by accident. TDC could be an incredible place for people to share about Internet marketing.

There will be news section in the forum so you can discuss general things that is happening in Internet marketing plus a very focused place for people who are doing the 30DC.

One of the thing that the 30DC team wrestles with is obviously people use the forum to promote things, people want customers, they want things to sign up like in other Internet marketing forum. Ed is very uncomfortable when people using affiliate links within the forum posts.

It is hard to know if someone is promoting if for the sake of commission or because it is something they like. That was banned in 30DC forum and a few people got offended and it affected the forum a bit.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks is to change the signature rules. The signature rules will allow you to have a quote and the link to your FriendFeed. (This idea was from Andrew Nesbitt.)

If people like your contributions to the forum, then they are going to want to subscribe to your FriendFeed. If you want to see what Ed is doing, the absolute best place to find out is FriendFeed.

Twitter is a feeder / distribution mechanism. FriendFeed is a database where all the data is stored and searchable. See above example.

A FriendFeed is perfect for people who are following you. Think of your followers as the client base. At the end of the day, all of us are trying to build a client base which we can sell stuff to.

You can have as many blog feeds, del.icio.us bookmarks, digg, diquss (comments that come to blogs come through FriendFeed), flickr, and Google Reader.

If you think you are doing everything in isolation but all of the sudden they are going to come together, FriendFeed is one of those places where it comes together.

For SEO (search engine optimization / optimizers) who already have some experience under their belt, this is going to be a killer. One little click on the Google Reader (even in iPhone) will be distributed into FriendFeed, which can be commented on, stored as a database, become permanent link and searchable via Google.

FriendFeed is a totally permission-based way to follow somebody. If you don’t understand this yet, don’t worry about it. It is just a cool thing.

FriendFeed’s Rooms

If you go to the rooms tab, you can see the list of your rooms.

Accessing Rooms in FriendFeed

In particular is the Thirty Day Challenge room. The cool about this room is this is a public room.

The first thing is that Ed is not the only contributor to this room. Everybody can share something in this room if they like it.

Share Something in a Room in FriendFeed

If you click Share something or drag this to your bookmark toolbar as bookmarklets, then you can contribute to the room by pressing the button. It pops straight into FriendFeed from wherever you happen to be.

This becomes like a global database for people who are doing the Thirty Day Challenge of cool stuff they come across from photos to videos and other things. Because it is searchable, this can be a service to others. You can share, comment and vote if you like it. (Clicking on the Like is the way to vote in FriendFeed.)

Think about this from the team point of view. Imagine that you are creating a room with your team. You set it up so it grabs your various things that you’re doing and put together for the team. It can be an amazing resource.

Each room itself has its own feed, so you can just create a feed of your own room and share your journey with 30 Days Challenge, which is just fantastic. Also notice that the room has a feed.

More complete step by step instructions will be available later this week. This is just a preview. For now, you may start thinking about how powerful all of these are.

FriendFeed becomes a place where your team can base its experiences and so you can stay in touch.

The more you are in touch, the better relationship you have. You are talking to your best friends more frequently than others. It is all about communication. There are so many ways to communicate with your audience online and the best part about it is that the audience is completely in charge.

You may wonder that if people may be able to post to the Thirty Day Challenge room, then people may post their affiliate links or spam the room or something like that. The truth is, if people try to do that, they are gone in one click.

Some people ask if Twitter is better than FriendFeed or vice versa. The truth is, Twitter and FriendFeed are two totally different things.

Twitter is the next generation of communication. It’s like mobile telephony (cellphone usage). It is a distribution platform. FriendFeed is a content database. It is an encyclopedia of people’s experiences as they want you to see them online. This is a very powerful concept.

Another example is Plurk, which is a lot of fun. People start twittering about the possibility of the service to replace Twitter. Ed took 7 seconds to find out that it is not going to do it because it is not a database.

There are only two things in this world. There are distribution platforms, the pipes if you will and content, i.e. stuff that flows through the pipes.

As a marketer, only those two things matter. If you have stuff but you have no way of distributing it, it is useless. If something tries to be both, it will fail. It never worked. You are either the distribution platform (pipe) or the content (water in the dam).

What’s Next

This year, you are encouraged to be on a team. The chances of your success in Thirty Day Challenge are increased with a team.

Another book Ed recommends is Group Genius. The guy, who is a professor and also a jazz musician, explains about how groups collaborate and the power and science behind groups and teamwork. It is absolutely brilliant.

What is a team in 30DC? The team in Thirty Day Challenge has a number of functions:

  1. A group of people who commit to communicating together. Everybody gets stuck. The bottom line is more heads are better than one head. You often get exponential increase within a team. Team gives you support.
  2. The emotional aspect. A big issue is that what’s running on your head is most likely the problem. Number one antidote to stopping you from achieving something in the TDC is to have a team to help talk you through and to realize that you are not the only one who has the problem.

The most effective team are people from very diverse background. They bring different things to the table, experience, expertise, attitude and so on. Sometimes this mix can cause problems because you have clash of personality sometimes but you will almost always get the best innovation and effort from a group of diverse people.

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