Calacanis, Scoble, Arrington pawns in FriendFeed's smart marketing campaign

Egobloggers Jason Calacanis, Robert Scoble as well as startup PR clearinghouse Michael Arrington all want to know: How amazing is it that after two years of using Twitter, they've each already got nearly half as many "followers" on FriendFeed after just a few months? Asking the question, each offer hypothetical answers involving the social-network aggregator's ease of use — "The comment systems is so fast and easy that it's perfect," says Calacanis — or Twitter's frequent outages — "Twitter downtime plays a big part," writes Arrington. But here's the real answer to the amazing growth these bloggers have seen on FriendFeed:

It's not that amazing. As CenterNetwork's Allen Stern first pointed out, each time a new user signs up for FriendFeed, the site suggests the new user becomes friends with "Popular FriendFeeders." On the list: Bret Taylor, Fred Wilson, Scott Beale, Michael Arrington, Loic Le Meur, Jason Calacanis, Dave Winer and Leo Laporte — despite, as Stern notes, the fact that many of these "popular" users don't actually use FriendFeed very often. Why? We haven't asked anybody at FriendFeed because the answer is obvious: So that the whole bunch of easily ego-fluffed blog blowhards will blog about how amazing FriendFeed is, without bothering to figure out why, exactly, it seems to be growing so much faster for them than everybody else.

Calacanis, Scoble, Arrington pawns in FriendFeed's smart marketing campaign