I waited with baited anticipation for today. When Scoble said Friday that FriendFeed, a service that’d up until now I’ve only thought of as a backend aggregator of everyone’s Social Media (it is that too) was coming out with a new, improved UI today, my first thought was merely, “Oh, how nice.” Somehow in my mind FriendFeed has been the nice youngest child who is so sweet, comes up with the most unexpected things that charms everyone in the family, but never threatens the turf of big brother or sister, and everyone says how cute he is, how smart he is, and how one day he’s going to grow up to be someone really special and make someone really happy. Big brother and sister roll their eyes. They have other plans for the little twerp.
Well today, little brother, FriendFeed, just got a perfect score on the SAT and is heading for Harvard on a full scholarship! Friendfeed still has all the power and utilitarian tentacles reaching in all directions under the hood, but today instead of jumping in the workvan, if feels like getting behind the wheel of a new BMW. It’s warm, inviting, elegant, tasteful, and yet will get you going down the road in a heartbeat without feeling a thing except for perhaps a whisp of Steely Dan infusing the luxurious leather air all around with “In the Corner of my eye, I saw you, (Twitter) at Rudy’s and you were very high, you were high!” That’s how all the pro’s (Facebook) play the game. They change their name.
The first thing I read this morning was Steve Gillmor‘s piece in TechCrunch where he swooned so romantically, his writing was so fantastically beautiful, all I could think of was, “Why is this guy not a novelist?” Later today on the GillmorGang, his weekly podcast, one of his regular guest read a passage outloud from the piece to embarrass him. He sounded like an empassioned lover over the new FriendFeed. I thought it was too over the top too. I mean is he really comparing these guys to the Beatles? I thought. And then when Mike Arrington chimed in like the Grinch who stole Christmas saying that the game was already over, Twitter’s growth was too stupendous, their lead was too large, the tipping point had been reached and that was that, I felt like when Greenspan took our punchbowl away in 2000, and my dream of being an overnite internet millionaire with it.
Next I read another TechCrunch Piece about the beta launch by. Watched the shortened Youtube video it had attached at the end of the piece of the Friday demonstration to the tech press, and contined to refresh Scoble’s Twitter page every ten seconds to see if his longer videos of the same presentation in HD were up yet. Finally they came up and I watched them all. Bret Taylor, the co founder and Technical Engineer of FriendFeed gave the presentation. His cheeks blanched, his voice quivered a little as the stares of Gillmor, Arrington, Scoble et al. listened and watched. But his demeanor, sure it was nervous, but it was also filled a a great since of humility on the surface, but one could since the brilliance underneath the hood. And that is how this company and product feel. Very humble, very unassuming, still filled with a sense of wonderment of what is possible, eagerly listening to and respecting what the onlookers had to say, but also with tremendous power and potential one can feel under the hood. One had the feeling of when the young Google first made its quiet presence felt.
And since Brett Taylor is the architect of one of the most successful Google products, Gmail, one almost wonders if he isn’t more of the essence of the “good” Google we’ve grown to love more than its founders are.
I watched all of Scoble’s HD footage of the event. The Spirit of Scoble seems to be infused with the personality of this company, and to me that is just another A+. No one questions his credibility. He relishes in the wonder of these things and how they mesh at the nexus of social interactions mixed with marketing. And besides, if you can’t be as excited and exuberant about what your doing in life, how you spend your time, as he is, then what really is the point? How could you go on droning on about this stuff if your only perspective is that of a VC wanting only to make money from something, no matter what it takes. That takes the life right out of it, and usually the money too.
The more I played with FriendFeed the Beta tonight, the more excited I got. It’s not only warm, fuzzy, elegant, and smooth, its fun! It has the keys to the Castle. It’s found the Grail Castle of Social Media, I think precisely because it makes what is productive, what is useful, the same thing as what is fun.
You must go sign up for the new FriendFeed. Watch Scoble’s vide: 20 Things About FriendFeed, how to use it and his latest blogposts about it including ¬†Tips for Real Time Web working on new¬†friendfeed , and just start playing with it. You’re going to love it. You’re going to constantly be amazed at all the cool stuff it can do, and now with style. I think Arrington is wrong. I’m putting my money on this horse named “FriendFeed”, even if its 20-1 right now because I think its Secretariat. Twitter is clunky. It must have fail whaled a hundred times on me today. And its becoming more MySpacey, LA/Euro Trashy every day. Twitter is where Myspace was a few years ago, tons of people signing up everyday, tons of Media Coverage, Stars signing up, making their own “pages.” FriendFeed is going to come from behind in this race and mow it down, and in the long run I think it might even catch Facebook too.
In my daydream, it’s Arkansas Derby Day. The Cherry Blossoms whip galliantly in the 75 degree sweet Ouachita Mountain air that the Purple Martins are coloring with exuberance. I turn to my tasty companion and pour her a glass of wine. The year is 1957 on my bottle of Pouilly-Fuiss?©. Then I turn with complete confidence and walk to the cashier’s window.
“Give me 5 million on ‘FriendFeed’, please,” I say.
There’s a short pause as vested short, dark haired lady stares at me as if an angel had opened up one of the pillowy, drifting clouds.