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April 06, 2009

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I was waiting for this post. ;-)

I read your comments on Friendfeed and left several of my own. I think you've really hit the nail on the head. The shift from information icons, which change according to the info type, to people icons, which are constant for everything the person shares is a subtle but powerful change. Combined with the conversion of the "post to Friendfeed" function to a tweetbox, the changes suggest they're wanting a more chatty interface, and one that is friendlier to new users.

I understand that they won't get rich catering to a niche audience like Life Scientists, and I also understand we scientists probably more comfortable with a busier interface than the average person, but we did have one of the biggest groups on Friendfeed. The silly thing is that all the information is still there. They could continue to provide a busy, info-rich interface to those that have come to depend on it while still leaving the n00b-friendly interface as the default.

Good post. I commented at Neil's first because his came up in my RSS reader first, but my main beef is the real-time point- I tried this out when it was first offered as an option before, and it is just not how I use FF. If it isn't something that can be switched off, I would probably stop using the site which is a pity as I think it is the best interactive website I've come across.

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