Shiny Objects Can Be Blinding, As Well

Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion has been hyping Friend Feed on his Twitter feed religiously. Now the two most recent posts to his blog are about how wonderful the service is.

Hi. My name is Steve and I suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS for short).
SOS describes the digerati’s never-ending obsession with emerging social sites. First came blogs. Then there was podcasting, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Second Life and finally Twitter. Some stick. Others don’t. The key is to addressing SOS is to take a step back and look at the the consumer trends and potential business models.
My latest fascination is Friendfeed – a site that in one place aggregates your friends streams from across different social sites. Right now Friendfeed’s audience is paltry. According to, it has 300,000 active users. Still, I believe that Friendfeed has the potential to become as big as Google.

I had to stop there. “As big as Google” is crazy talk. Sorry Steve.
I won’t even take the time to check the new shiny object out, so it’s hard to see how it might become indispensable to me.
For me, right now, it’s about determining which toys, or shiny objects, I can shed (Facebook), not about which new ones I can acquire.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. David: I signed up for FriendFeed and my account is still active.
    But it’s a pointless site.
    It basically accumulates your friends Tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates.
    But those 3 things are already pretty integrated: people post their blog posts to Twitter and Facebook (often via automated programs)
    Their Tweets are on their blogs and on their Facebook updates
    So what’s the actual point of Friend Feed? It’s not a very user friendly interface and it replicates things I currently have in easier formats.

  2. Alan,
    Thanks so much for this breakdown. Another thing that escapes me is how many of these tech toys (and their fans) fail to describe their utility in a sentence or two.