Update: Jay Tannenbaum sent me this link on the history of the guy bringing the suit against Obama.  So the guy’s nuts.  I said it sounded suspect.  That doesn’t change the fact that there are some remaining questions about the certificate (that might be able to very easily be addressed, if attempted), nor the fact that nearly everyone on that FF thread behaved like animals (sheep, specifically).
Update 2: All my feeds on FF have been nuked.  If someone there would be kind enough to kill my account, I’d appreciate it. There doesn’t appear to be a “delete account” button.

I’ve been wrestling with this for a long time.

I’m really over my fascination with FriendFeed.  I’ve written up this resignation letter about three times in the last several months, but always held off on posting it because I work for a major social networking publication, and I enjoy a few things about FriendFeed (like the lifestreaming technology and the traffic it generates for me).
Unfortunately, I just don’t think I can take it anymore.  I shared an item today from a very widely read publication on Talk Radio goings ons, and it was about an issue that’s been underground for a very long time that has finally hit mainstream: the controversy over whether Barack Obama was born in the USA.
This is not an issue that I particularly care about, nor is it something I’m willing to defend.  As I found out from some friends who emailed me during the discussion on FriendFeed, the guy leading the charge on this is a certifiable Twoofer. In my original comment, I didn’t say I was willing to defend the guy blindly, nor was I trying to nail Obama to the wall. 
In fact, my exact comment was:

This is something I haven’t made a lot of hay about personally, because frankly it sounds like conspiracy theory mumbo jumbo. The truth is, though, that Obama hasn’t definitively shown he was born in America. The FactCheck.org entry on this is wrong, and so is the MediaMatters bulletin. There’s a youtube video that explains all this a lot better than me – you should go check it out – it’s likely one of the top videos right about now, so it should be easy to find. I’m not trying to nail him to the wall on this, but if it’s untrue, it should be particularly easy to debunk for Obama

The truth is though, that there are a lot of unanswered questions.  All I did was point that out.
But a bevy of folks from the FriendFeed community (including one of the founders) decided to decend on me, insult my intelligence, tell me they’ve lost respect for me, and post the same FactCheck.org link.  They tried to deflect the issue, confuse the issue, call me racist, question McCain’s parentage, and all other sorts of things, but answer the basic premise (that Obama is dodging this lawsuit and refuses to answer the allegations) they would not.
Whatever.  FriendFeed? You’re fired.  I’ll be by to collect my feeds in a few days.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the technology, and it’s a great idea.  It’s not all the users – some of my best friends in the world are on FriendFeed, so this isn’t an indictment of everyone on it.
Still, some of the most infuriating conversations I’ve had with intelligent people acting stupid have been on FriendFeed, and it’s not in my continued mental health’s interests to remain on the system. 
For those who’ve not been on FriendFeed, wanna know what it’s like?  It’s like Slashdot, but without the critical thinking. It’s like Digg, but with a better vocabulary. It’s like 4chan, but without the criminal record. It’s like the comments on LittleGreenFootballs during the Rathergate scandal, but without the research. 
Simply put, it’s a bunch of really smart people who generally feel they’re too smart to go out and back up what they have to say with facts. Why? I don’t know.  Maybe it’s the format, maybe it’s what happens when you get a bunch of bloggers in close quarters.  Something.  There’s probably some good reasons there, but right now I don’t have the perspective to come to any real conclusions.
As I said before, it’s not a blanket indictment of everyone on there, but of the community spirit on the system.  Almost everyone I know uses FriendFeed, and that includes my best friends.  Somehow, though, when all my friends (and their friends, and their friends) get together in a conversation, something goes horribly awry.
In the future, if you want to follow me, you’ll need access to my RSS feeds. If I get involved with another social conversation community (God help me), I’ll let you know here, so you can talk me out of it.
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