Twhirl Updates, Now Integrated with FeedFriend

I love the concept of lifestreaming. Initially I used Tumblr, but then specific web apps started to turn up and I checked them all out and kept coming back to FeedFriend. With the release today of the latest update to twhirl, the popular twitter client now owned by seesmic; my decision to use FeedFriend was consolidated.

It took a while to work out that the latest iteration of twhirl now incorporates FeedFriend. So now, once set up you get a window just like the twitter one but in it is the feed from FeedFriend. You can see everything that your friends are doing, blog posts, tweets and everything else that they have added to their FeedFriend account right in Twhirl!

Although I rave about the virtues of RSS this is different. FeedFriend summarizes all my friends social networking and blogging activities in one place. Not only do I see updates as they happen, but it is content that I would follow more closely if I could. Now I can. I am interested in what they have to say but as you know my RSS reader can look like a train wreck at times and I miss things. Now I don’t have to.

But it doesn’t just stop at being able to see what they are doing but I can also comment on them as well. The comments go to FeedFriend and not the place where they were posted though. This might mean on average fewer page views over time. But I do have to read the post and that you have to go to the post to do. Video however is displayed on FeedFriend. So I am more likely to comment in FeedFriend. Which is also part of the functionality of the new FeedFriend feature in Twhirl.

There is no doubt for me that this feature has changed my online life. I am going to be able to be more involved with the conversation and more inclined to do so. It has consolidated my online friends and people that I like and enjoy to watch. It makes the content more relevant. twhirl is becoming a killer app.

One thing that I thought was not that clear were the instruction on how to make the magic happen. So, quick summary here.

  1. Download twhirl, you will also need to install Adobe AIR Runtime. You’ll be prompted to do so if you have not got it already.
  2. Go to settings and Click the “Open Accounts”. Here you can add your twitter accounts (and yes multiple accounts for twitter are supported).
  3. Open Accounts from the settings screen

  4. Now the cool FriendFeed stuff, use the pulldown menu to select “FriendFeed” and enter your FriendFeed user name (it is the one that appears in your URL for FeedFriend).
  5. Click “Connect”, you will be prompted to enter your remote key. If you don’t know it there is a link to get it – or try this one. Get your remote key
  6. That is it, your done. You will now see a separate window with your FeedFriend friends feed in it

Hope that helps some people.

I have noticed that the FriendFeed servers are under a bit of strain, timing out and being unavailable and other interesting errors. Maybe the timeline for FriendFeed doesn’t update as it should, like mine is tending to do. But I am sure these problems will be fixed in time. I am excited about these changes and new features. Loving it, the seesmic and twhirl teams deserve a slap on the back, thanks guys. Keep up the great work.

There is a video from Loic on the new features but the instructions are not that great but listening to Loic is. Feel free to add me to FeedFriend, I think I am going to be using it more!

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Web Site for Gaming Guilds

I don’t follow the gaming industry that closely. I don’t usually cover what is happening at all. But this caught my eye today, probably because it is on my radar for new social networking sites and services. But this is new as far as I know and fairly innovative. The site is called MMOGUILDSITES and launched at the end of November 2006.

MMOGUILDSITES is offering a one stop place to put together a website for your guild. Sure the concept of a guild site is not new. But this way of doing it is. You don’t need to have any knowledge of coding or experience building a website. But it goes further than that, there is a swag of features to make your site a place that members can communicate, coordinate and make their own. All plans offer the same features:

  • Forums
  • Private Messaging
  • Polls
  • Events Calendar
  • Guild Applications (for potential members)
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Plus Optional Additional Features

There are many other features that make the whole package look very attractive. You have a dashboard to set permissions and appoint moderators for your forums and website. A drag and drop interface to design the layout of the site. Things you can drop into the site are things like shout boxes, events, members profiles, statistics and images. You can even customise with a theme, and they look great. Don’t like the default themes on offer then design your own using the tools provided. Once created themes can be shared between members of the site. So while the site is for separate guilds it is building a sense of community. There are lots of features that I have not mentioned as I would run out of time to list them all, they seem to have thought of everything!

I was impressed to see attention to detail like the addition of RSS feeds. On face value this service looks to be of a high quality and a lot of thought has gone into presenting a product that any gamer would appreciate. This is something that I could see having wider implications and applications outside the gaming community. It is about time that social networking sites took notice this is a fine example of how things should be done. Very slick for a user generated site.

While the look, feel and features are great it seems that these are the type of features that the target audience would be looking for. The features are there ready made and they are things that would make it easy, fun and functional to both members and owners of each site. This is a niche market and it appeals to that market.

I said service and service it is, there is a cost involved, but I think it is reasonable and fair and if the quality is there then users will not mind paying for it. The only difference that I can see between the plans is the upload limit. Prices are per month.

  • Standard: $8.99 – 100MB upload
  • Pro: $12.99 – 200MB upload
  • Premium: $16.99 – 500MB upload

While there is a cost involved here it is a community site for a guild, what is to stop a group getting together and starting a site? Shared costs would make it inexpensive. A great way to give your guild the professional look together with ease of use and user-friendly feel make this a top idea on a solid platform.

I think this one has legs and promise. They have what looks to be a sound business model and they have not priced themselves out of existence. Nice work and I hope they succeed. Also check out their blog which looks just as good as the rest of the site. Anyone had any experience with this service?

I almost forgot they have a free trial for 7 days.

MMOGUILDSITES Screenshot

Rally the Podcast Community

One of the reasons that I love podcasting so much is the fact that behind all the productions is a community of great people. This is a group of people united by a common purpose and usually are only too happy to help fellow podcasters.

Despite the range of topics that we cover as podcasters, our styles and personalities or whatever we are all working towards the same thing. That is to have our say, be a voice, further the industry and get the word out to those that don’t know about the great medium called podcasting. Podcasters are in it for podcasting. Plus it is a hoot.

The Internet is a funny beast. I have made an observation. Some bit of news happens, sure those at the front line see it first and blog about it or notice it in searches. This is the first wave, this can still take a few days to happen. Then over about the next three to five days, depending on how big the story is; it reaches “critical mass” within the blogosphere. What’s that I hear you ask. It is that point at which you start to see trackbacks, the information gets disseminated and talked about. Whatever it is becomes more “news worthy” (whatever that is!). This happens on a smaller scale as well.

So I posted my plea for a new co-host on the 5th of September. At first I got nothing, no links no replies to the story. I publicised it a bit more on forums and kind people have linked to the story at my request. Now yesterday and today I am starting to see the effect of that. Incidentally, four days have passed. So the take home message there is; don’t loose heart if you are breaking a big story or have written an exceptional post or advertising something you want to sell, wait for critical mass.

So today I have recieved a response from a forum, the comments in The Global Geek Podcast Blog. In addition I got a pleasant surprise this morning when I checked the blogs and I noticed that there were two trackbacks to my post for a co-host.

So thank you to PodcastNYC.net for carrying the story. This is a pure example of a fellow podcaster seeing a comrade in need and helping out. Here it does not matter that we are from different networks or production style or whatever else might separate us. It is this sense of community that is evident, that which is important. This is the essence of community network that the Internet both facilitates and engineers as time goes on. It is one of the best aspects of what the Internet can do for you. I can see no other reason for the proliferation of engineered social networks on the net.

The other trackback I found this morning was from Podcasting Jobs Podcast. I have touched on the issues that Jon Watson raises before and indeed during this effort to find a new co-host:

“To date, nobody has put together a real concerted effort to provide a “podcasting classifieds” type thing. Some podcasting sites have job sections, but they’re generally pretty sparse.”

This is a niche that is yet to be filled. I will add that if it is filled, would it be done right? It will only work if it is supported by the community and the services that are offered are slick, inexpensive (or free). A social network for podcasters? We certainly need a space that offers:

  • Connections
  • Sources of information
  • How to’s
  • Potential Advertisers
  • Support
  • I need… [a new co-host]
  • Where to find podcasting resources like music

To name but a few examples that I can think of. However Jon goes on to say:

“The lack of podcasting job sites isn’t a reflection on the services, rather it’s a reflection of the space right now.”

I fully agree, until podcasting is more accessible to the masses and “trusted” by advertisers, the potential marketing value will be limited to a few.

So thanks guys for the vote of confidence and the support, keep it up and remember to let me know of anyone that might be interested in the “job” as long as they don’t mind they are doing it for nothing! Don’t worry I do it for free as well.