By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
With Twitter’s downtimes becoming less and less of a joke, lots of people are migrating to Friendfeed. I’ve been at Friendfeed for quite a while now, but the site suffers from the same problem that most aggregation services suffer from – excessive noise.
No, I don’t mean Led Zeppelin being played at full volume or the screams of passionate love making. What I mean is lots of duplicate entries cluttering up the page – yes, that kind of noise! This can be a big problem if you’re on the site and you’re following several hundred people. If someone posts the same link several times, it can be enough to get you unsubscribed – and it’s easy to do. If you digg a link, then stumble it, then add it to your Delicious account, then talk about it on Twitter, then blog about it… that’s 5 identical links right there.
There’s other kinds of “noise” too that tends to pop up on Friendfeed. Maybe your contacts are sometimes talking about subjects that don’t interest you that much? Or maybe they are friends with people that you detest? This is where Noiseriver comes in. Noiseriver is basically a filtering service that allows you to block certain keywords and subjects from showing up in your Friendfeed feed.
You don’t have to give them your password (so you can put away your tin foil hat Captain Paranoia). All you need is your username and remote key. That gets you through the front door.
The first area to go to is “My Interests”. This is where you can specify keywords based on how much you love or hate certain subjects. There is a sliding bar and you can move it to the left or right depending on your level of love or hatred. So using the word “geeks” as an example, I can now move the bar (of course I love geeks!)
You can add as many keywords as you like. Go totally crazy. Let out all that passion and / or aggression.
Now there is also a section called “Your Neighbourhood” where you can also do the same for Friendfeed users, but I think this is rather pointless. If you “hate” someone, then just unsubscribe from their content. Finished.
Once you have specified what you want to see and not want to see, you’ll have to view your newly sanitized feed via Noiseriver. So it may not be to everyone’s liking as they currently don’t offer a RSS feed, and in my opinion, it looks a little bare bones. This is still a start-up operation after all. But you have to wonder if Friendfeed is looking at this right now and considering whether or not to either buy Noiseriver or do their own version. So we may see new and improved features very soon. Watch this space.