I just wrote about how YouTube was started by former PayPal employees. There’s a new social media site called FriendFeed, written about in Gigaom today. It was started by former Google employees. It’s another site to keep track of but never actually see your friends. Then when they see you they will know everything about you, including why you look so tired today.
I’m a Twitter fan because the setup time and effort to track my friends is pretty low. One picture. Short bursts of information. Still, I don’t keep posting as much as I did at first.
With FriendFeed you’ll know a lot more about what you’re friends are up to. The pictures they put on Flickr, the articles they digg, the computer they’re selling on CraigsList. It would be handy to know if they’ll be at a conference or meeting you plan to attend. FriendFeed offers an aggregated feed, in one place, of what your friends are doing online. And you can put it on your blog or other social networking sites. They call it gluing together the web, or all the pieces and networks we’re on. More un-social glue.
The site is in private beta. Co-founder Bret Taylor built the tool while he was working as an entrepreneur in residence at Benchmark Capital. He and another ex-Googler Jim Norris left Google along with Paul Buchheit. It looks like they are being true entrepreneurs, starting something a business on the side while working as an entrepreneur. The three are featured in a New York Times article about the startup. Also involved but not pictured, is former Googler Sanjeev Singh.
The interface is very sparse and it looks like (gasp!) people are using their actual names.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few friends that I want to know all they’re up to. I could learn a lot from watching their daily activities. I’m not sure how time intensive or intrusive the site will be. Of course if it saved me from having to log on to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and my newsfeeds to follow things, I’ll probably sign right up (but not under my real name).