Battle lines are drawn for the war of web search dominance

“The dust of exploded beliefs,” said the wit Geoffrey Madan in one of his more celebrated aphorisms, “may make a fine sunset.” He made the observation in a pre-internet age, but he might just as well have been commenting on the blogosphere’s reaction last week to Facebook’s sudden acquisition of FriendFeed, a web 2.0 service in which many geeks had invested fond hopes.For the uninitiated, I should explain that FriendFeed is an aggregator, a website which enables its users to gather a real-time personalised stream of updates from social networking sites, blogs, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Picasa, Digg, Delicious and others too numerous to list. Most of these services allow one to track one’s friends’ updates only from inside the service; FriendFeed collects them from all over the place and assembles them into a single stream, which is neat and very web two-point-zero-ish.

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