7 Ways FriendFeed Could Better Engage the Flickr Community
My friend Robert Scoble has a blog post out talking about the reasons why FriendFeed is not seeing the sort of growth that Twitter and Facebook are. Personally I consider FriendFeed to be a vastly superior platform to both Facebook and Twitter, but it is interesting noting that it does not seem to be getting the traction of these other services. That said, I think that there is a huge opportunity for FriendFeed to better engage a very large existing community that is Flickr and to offer power user sort of tools for Flickr's most active users.
I've already written in the past about how I think the existing version of FriendFeed represents a superior way for people to browse Flickr than Flickr itself, but I think that FriendFeed could go a lot further and could definitely attract more (and super active) Flickr users if they improved things even more. So this list represents seven ways that I think FriendFeed could build a better way to engage with the Flickr Community. It should be noted that FriendFeed certainly is not, nor I'm sure wants to be, a replacement for the Flickr community. Rather I see FriendFeed as a way for power users to get even more out of Flickr than they already get today.
I should also note that I'm not 100% sure exactly how many of these features could be implemented via the Flickr API but know that the Flickr API is somewhat robust and would think that some of the items below might be possible.
1. Exponentially more important than anything else FriendFeed could do in relation to Flickr (and my current number one FriendFeed feature request), I think FriendFeed should allow an option to import all of your Flickr contacts into FriendFeed like they currently do with your Twitter and Facebook contacts. I know that there are people on FriendFeed who are my Flickr contacts that I'm not presently following. I know that they are out there and would follow them if I could. FriendFeed needs to allow you to scan your Flickr account and auto-add any existing Flickr contact as a FriendFeed contact. This seems like very basic FriendFeed/Flickr integration missing today.
2. Allow you to automatically set up imaginary friends in a "Flickr Contacts" specific list for Flickr contacts who are not on FriendFeed yet. This option would ensure that you could get all of your Flickr contacts photos over to FriendFeed which represents a superior way to browse your contact's photos as it includes more than just the last 1 or 5 of their photos and it also includes their faves. Combined with matching up with your existing joint FriendFeed/Flickr contacts this would represent a complete way to better recreate one of Flickr's most popular pages the "photos from my contacts" page. Auto subscribing to these RSS should be possible. FriendFeed should take this one step further though by automatically replacing an imaginary friend contact with an actual contact when this person joins FriendFeed.
3. Allow an option on FriendFeed to see when a Flickr contact creates a group thread. This technology is sorely missing at Flickr right now and many times you may have a high value contact start a thread in a Flickr group that you don't know anything about. You miss an entire conversation. By creating a FriendFeed entry to coincide with every contact's new group post on Flickr you would be notified when this happens and you could then go to that group thread to participate. The top 10% of Flickr users represent a disproportionate amount of Flickr's traffic. These users are the ones that are most engaged in the groups on Flickr. Groups are where the truly hardcore Flickr users live. By adding this functionality on FriendFeed you'd be creating a tremendous tool currently lacking at Flickr that would engage many people who are 24/7 type web junkies on Flickr.
4. FriendFeed currently gets the Flickr RSS feed wrong. For a while they were presenting it correctly but not for the past few months. On Flickr, hardcore users that post photos there are very cognizant of the order that they post their photos in. Because Flickr only shows your contacts the last 1 or 5 photos, Flickr users generally make sure that when they do a batch upload that their last one or five photos are the best of that batch upload. FriendFeed conversely reports Flickr RSS streams *backwards* -- that is they show the first 7 photos uploaded in a batch on your FriendFeed feed *burying* anything beyond that. This means that the photos that I am showing on Flickr as my best in any batch upload are buried 100% of the time on FriendFeed. That's discouraging to Flickr users and since they used to do it correctly before, I'm not sure why they can't fix that.
5. Flickr mashup searching streams. There are certain images on Flickr that I'm interested in and do regular searches for. graffiti AND sanfrancisco, neon AND california, thomashawk, etc. FriendFeed should figure out a way to build RSS feeds with these searches and then let me create a sort of custom search feed that constantly scours for the subjects that I'm most interested in.
6. Filter by faves. FriendFeed should see if there is a way to create feeds from Flickr based on favoriting activity. I'd love to have a feed for instance that showed me all of my flickr contacts' photos with 1 fave or more, 5 faves or more, 10 faves or more, etc. You get the idea.
7. Best of Day Flickr. FriendFeed needs a page where they show the "Best of Day" amongst FriendFeed members' Flickr photos. Flickr's Explore page is crappy. It's a subjective page full of blah photos generally speaking. FriendFeed should allow you to filter your Flickr Contacts photos by absolute numbers of faves on a daily basis. I'd love to be able to see my Flickr contact's daily uploads organized this way.