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Tech Week In Review for July 3rd

FriendFeed Adds 3 New Features

I don’t know how those FriendFeed guys do it, but it seems like they add a new feature every other day. Here is what they’ve added recently:

  • Real-time Search – We all know FriendFeed operates in real-time. New items slide up to the top of the page right before your eyes. It’s either awesome or nauseating depending on who you are (I think it’s the bees’ knees). Ever since the switch to real-time, users have been requesting that searches operate in the same fashion. Now, real-time search is here. Any search you do will update in real-time. You can even take that search and embed it in a web page. Check out a search for Michael Jackson for an example of how it works.
  • Themes – Does the standard look of FriendFeed upset you? Well, turn that smile upside-down because FriendFeed has finally added themes. There are currently 7 to choose from and I’m pretty sure we’ll see many more in the near future. Hopefully, custom themes are also in the works.
  • Hashtags – This somewhat annoying feature of Twitter is now implemented in FriendFeed as well. Clicking a hashtag in FriendFeed will automatically search for items containing that tag. Keep in mind that items imported from Twitter that contain hashtags will still link back to Twitter search. For example, check out #blck and #daddytalk.
  • New Best of Day Link – A new link has been added to the bottom of the page that shows you the Best items of the day. The difference from the original Best of Day feature is that this one works on your Lists. So you could create a list of friends and family and then see the best items from only those people.

Twitter Updates Following/Follower Pages

If you’re one of those people that still actually uses the Twitter website (I know you’re out there, I don’t think you’re weird), you may have noticed a couple of changes to the interface. When you view your followers, you can now tell exactly who you follow back via a checkmark. There is also a dropdown that lets you, among other things, follow those you don’t follow. This could be a quick and dirty way to keep your follow ratio balanced.

Obama Does it Live

According to Mashable, President Obama hosted a live chat to field questions about Healthcare. I didn’t get a chance to catch it, but I’ll be ready next time. I’ve bookmarked http://www.whitehouse.gov/live and hooked up to this Facebook app. To see how it turned out, check out this video. Not only did Obama’s staff take questions via Facebook, but they also monitored the #WHHCQ hashtag on Twitter.

Facebook Going Public

Seems like Facebook is trying to be more like FriendFeed and Twitter by making more of our data public. They are already testing a new publishing feature that lets you post items to Everyone on a case-by-case basis. They are also updating the privacy settings and recommending that users make more things visible to Everyone. On a service where privacy has been the priority and people are mostly using it to connect with family and friends…real ones, I’m not sure how this will pan out. I see massive amounts of people accidentally sharing things with the world that they didn’t intend to. There is a detailed post on this transition here.

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