Friendfeed and GigaOm announce closures as Apple launches new products

While Apple launched new products including MacBooks and Watches, two pioneering services announced they would be closing. Friendfeed was a useful social network which combined short updates similar to Twitter with the ability to easily collect and aggregate your content from a huge variety of sources, into one feed. It launched back in 2007, and the service and team had been acquired by Facebook in 2009.

FriendFeedLogo

There’s no official news beyond the April 2015 closure date, but there is some unofficial code on Github to export your data if you wish.

And at the same time, one of the first big independent tech blogs has ceased operations. GigaOm originally launched in the mid-2000s, and became a full time job for founder Om Malik in 2006. It since acquired PaidContent, launched a paid Research area and various events etc.

GigaOm Logo

It’s sad news for those of us who have followed the site closely for 8+ years, and for the team of around 70 employees, although it may be wound down, acquired or who knows what else. It is known that the latest $8 million round of funding took place 12 months ago, but it has ceased operations due to being unable to pay creditors.

Whilst it’s unfortunate for all involved, including the millions of readers, it’s important to remember that the closure of GigaOm is more a reflection of the economics of an individual business. FriendFeed, meanwhile, reflects the trend for social network acquisition by the big players in the space – Facebook obviously went on to pick up Instagram and WhatsApp with far, far larger userbases and bigger brands.

Myspace, Photobucket, Shock, Horror

Hmmmm.

Despite a little public outcry, most people involved in the media seem to understand why Myspace has blocked Photobucket-hosted media. I was going to list the obvious reasons and lessons, but Om Malik has done it for me, here.

On the flipside, it’s amazing how many sites rely on external, non-partnered comapnies, to host content for free, particularly video content. If Youtube started bookending clips, it’d be a pretty big shock for a lot of people…

Next stop IPTV. But what have I been using?

Currently the rising tide of IPTV has caught the imagination of most internet commentators. Indeed some misguided fools are labelling the concept ‘Web 3.0‘ in the same way as I describe going outside for a cigarette as having an ‘external conference’, or business analysts refer to sackings as ‘headcount reductions’.
Aside from the flawed concept of Web 2.0, and the even more flawed concept of ‘Web 3.0‘, there are interesting developments. The main hope appears to be Joost, with Bittorrent also in the running, and the likes of BT Vision etc.

Well, call me Marty McFly if you like, but I’ve been watching IPTV for over two years now, along with some of my colleagues, friends, and countless sports fans. In fact, I once manned a desk at a large public trade show, and watched an entire Premiership football match at the same time, thanks to the fast broadband connection. Want to join in? Go to almost any reasonably popular forum, and post a topic about wanting to watch any sports without having to subscribe to Pay-Per-View television.

Without fail, someone will mention PPLive. Although the menus are in Chinese, there are plenty of English language sites to explain how to select the channel you wish to view. And then you get streaming football, for example, sometimes with English commentaries. And at a reasonable qaulity, depending on your connection etc…

If you do want to keep up with the ‘Johnny-come-latelies’ of the internet television world, I’d recommend NewTeeVee from the GigaOm network. Part of the NewTeeVee round-up this week links to four potential P2P IPTV problems from Mark Cuban.

I’m off to fire up my Delorean.