Just when you thought the lifestream service of choice was FriendFeed, SocialThing! is waiting in the wings and could change your mind about how you want to manage your lifestream. It is still in private beta testing at the moment and you can request an invite.
There has been quite a few seemingly inaccurate comparisons between FriendFeed and SocialThing! (like certain other services many of us use) and the SocialThing! people have published a “Semi-FAQ” which addresses these comparisons (in case you were wondering):
1. Socialthing! is not FriendFeed, and FriendFeed is not Socialthing!
This one is a question we always get: How are you different from FriendFeed? And how do we respond? Usually with one common answer: We have very different value propositions, and right now are being compared to each other because of a surface understanding of what we do. Socialthing! is and always has been about making your digital life easier. We bring your friends into one interface, make it easy to post stuff back to the networks, and just in general, try to make social networking easier. FriendFeed is about creating an interesting conversation around content (at least that’s our take on it). Two very different, very equally as cool value props. To us, the idea behind FriendFeed is not dissimilar to a forum. With forums, you have threads and then replies to those threads. With FriendFeed, the threads would be user generated content and replies being the comments and “likes” around that content.
There are obvious similarities because both services are lifestreaming services and both seem to enable you to add your various feeds and keep track of what your friends are doing too. SocialThing! published an interesting screencast showing how you can group together your friends’ various updates under a sort of consolidated line item in your stream (something which may appeal to FriendFeed users who are frustrated with huge numbers of updates using certain services).
My take on these lifestreaming services is that using a number of them can be a good thing. These services are really handy ways to publish your activity streams all over the Web and connect to friends (real and virtual) who may be using one lifestreaming service but not another. It also doesn’t take any more effort to keep multiple streams up to date than it does to keep a single stream up to date.
I’ll have to wait till I have a beta invite to use the service to try it out and opine on its benefits but for the time being I like the grouping option. The rest of the service doesn’t seem all that remarkable but that perception may change.