Tasty New Microblog Flavour

I’ve flirted with it in the past and resisted it for a while, but you can now follow me on Identi.ca and Twitter if you are so inclined. Seems like I might have picked a good time to try this because TwiTip just soft-launched.

There’s some overlap between my accounts, but they’re not identical because different third-party sites connect to each one. Both will get told when a new article appears on this website, but Twitter is likely to see more links to other sites and Identi.ca will get more status updates. Other than that, usage will be determined by popularity at events or with communities – or by suggestions here. How would you use them?

At first glance, the two services are similar but different. Both sites seem to be “cooperative deserts” (not many cooperative members on them), both sites seem to be running on non-free software (I consider AGPL non-free until its big questions are resolved) and neither site seems to have an easy way to backup one’s data or participate without registration. Identi.ca seems to have some SEO-spammer problems, while Twitter’s interface has some silly needless javascript uses. Identi.ca supports OpenMicroBlogging (OMB) but I don’t understand that yet – it seems a terrible specification. It opens with references (but not web links) to three other things I’ve never heard of, then continues into a dictionary where terms like “listener” are redefined (ouch!) and doesn’t contain an examples section.

New article announcements are done by a WordPress plugin I’ll publish soon. Because of the above problems with OMB and that I can’t find whether Twitter supports it, the plugin uses the simpler status HTTP POST interface. Does anything other than Twitter and Identi.ca support that? I tried a few sites and got bored with them requiring me to apply for an API key before they’d tell me much.

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