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FriendFeed, Twitter, and the best places to “hang out” online

I’ve been really busy with work lately and I find that being busy really helps me focus on the best uses of my limited free time. Lately I’ve found myself spending a lot of time “hanging out” on Twitter and FriendFeed. The reason I like hanging out on both sites is very simple – they’re basically unstructured chat rooms populated by my friends and friends-of-friends. It’s as much about entertainment as it is about news – I almost always find something entertaining, amusing, or informative every time I take a few minutes to browse the latest postings on either site.

I think a lot of the reason I like hanging out on these two places (I think of them more as places than sites) is that I get a good range of content – everything from blog posts to idle commentary to thoughtful remarks or observations. And news. I increasingly find out more “breaking” news on these two services than I do anywhere else. Facebook is still fun, but I don’t get the same buzz from hanging out there – my NewsFeed is mostly full of application adds, friends who are planning to attend events, or other interesting updates. But it’s not really “breaking” news and most of it’s not entertaining. It’s of great personal interest to me, but it doesn’t really get my creative or mental juices flowing.

The beauty of FriendFeed (in particular) and Twitter (to a lesser extent) is the simplicity of communication combined with a good community. FriendFeed and Twitter have managed to continue to feel very “personal” to me despite the growth in my network on each site – the things I read continue to be entertaining and personally relevant in a way that my Facebook NewsFeed is ceasing to be. And there are a few blogs (Louis Gray, Andrew Chen, Jeremy Liew, and a few others) that always have great, thought-provoking content. But that’s been true for awhile.

This is kind of a rambling post, but what do you think? Where have you been hanging out online and why?

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