FriendFeed helps PR pros to aggregate media streams

As the social media space becomes crowded, PR pros are increasingly looking for ways to unite the media streams they follow.

As the social media space becomes crowded, PR pros are increasingly looking for ways to unite the media streams they follow.

FriendFeed, a new monitoring tool, can help PR pros distribute and collect information about their brands - but with some limitations.

Users share their own content from sites like Delicious with others who sign up for their feed. In turn, users receive updates from the people whose feeds they follow.

Ana Yang, FriendFeed CMO, says the site lets brands offer updates that are more personalized than RSS feeds because brand evangelists can add their own interests to the stream, as well as blog updates.

The site also has virtual rooms where users can post information and solicit a dialogue about the topic, Yang adds.

"It's not socializing for socializing's sake," she says. "There is more value... because the conversations are specifically designed around something that others find interesting."

Kevin Dugan, director of marketing communications for FRCH Design, says the site is useful for centralizing data streams, but still lacks the user-friendly organization of a feed reader. He recommends PR pros use the site to broadcast information and engage with key influencers and journalists. "You have to view it as a conversation tool," Dugan says. "Editors are always telling us to learn more about what their interests and needs are, and this is a way to do that."

Jon Cronin, director of digital marketing strategy at DeVries PR, says he created an agency FriendFeed site to make it easier to update reporters for stories they work on.

"Instead of updating your blog every time, you update all the various sites... with one click," he says.

Key points:

FriendFeed allows users to share content from several social media sites

The site includes "rooms" where users can post info and engage in conversation

It doesn't have a strong instant messaging function

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