Friendfeed and socialthing are both lifestream aggregators. They pull in your information stored across multiple services on the internet into one place. You can then use those aggregators not just for your information but also to follow the lifestreams of others.
Louis Gray believes that friendfeed should win because of one key feature – its ability to build a community or network by allowing users to comment on items posted inside friendfeed.
Muhammad Saleem believes that SocialThing’s ability to allow users to comment outside socialthing inside the external service is the better solution.
I have not yet seen SocialThing (it is in private beta) – but it strikes me that SocialThing’s methodology is the way to do things provided you can still see the conversation inside socialthing.
Of course, Duncan Riley of Techcrunch thought that Friendfeed is just another lifestream aggregator (compared to Plaxo Pulse, Tumblr, Spokeo, Second Brain, SocialThing and Iminta) and that why would you even want to republish Twitter and Google Reader shared items. Can’t you just go to their sites?
I think right now they are all much of a muchness in comparison with each other. Friendfeed does have the ability to connect to 30 other services online and a huge following, SocialThing has a lot less services and even less of a following. I completely disagree with Duncan on the lack of need to republish.
My view is that these lifestream aggregators have huge potential for consumer benefit online. It could become the platform for web services, allowing users to choose their favourite photo/video/blog/whatever provider whilst not forcing their friends to sign up or worse visit lots of different sites to see them all. Duncan makes a valid point though about Twitter, its very nature means it takes up a huge portion of the overall feed. What I would like to see is the ability to separate items into different areas so I can follow people’s Twitters in one area, photos in another and blog posts/interesting items somewhere else. ie customizability of the lifestream.