Mining with friends

digging by Untitled blue
Friends and feedy thoughts:
[Via business|bytes|genes|molecules]

I hope Bret and co are paying attention. I’ve heard people say that Friendfeed is too noisy, that they don’t get the value, etc. The tech world has the unique ability to make anything too noisy and the worlds ultimate echo chamber. The scientific community on the other hand (life scientists, physicists, librarians and technologists) have made it a second home. We use it to discuss ideas and ask questions. Of course, every conference seems to get it’s own backchannel on Friendfeed, e.g. ISMB, BioBarCamp, Science in the 21st Century, Science Blogging 2008, etc. We even have rooms for programming and development efforts now, e.g.for Ruby for Python and for the Chemistry Development Kit.

It’s a classic example of successful micro-communities, all coming together, driven by common interests. Makes you want to think ahead. Friendfeed has an API, a decent search engine, but what I would love to see is some way of mining all that data, cause in all the science rooms there is a ton of interesting information. I suspect you can do it today, just not sure what the best approach might be, and the graph of likes and comments and connections just HAS to be fascinating.

To me, at least, Friendfeed conversations actually have a different ‘feel’ to them than the different ‘Web 2.0’ tools that make them up. Things like blog entries, direct links, messages, etc. each have their own flavor. But put them all together, with added comments, more links, more blogs and you end up with something that is much richer than simply the sum of each part.

It is interesting that many scientists have gravitated to Friendfeed. I suspect that the ability to rapidly aggregate a wide variety of different types of conversations and the information they disburse would be one reason. Mining this would be a very interesting proposition.

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