A recent project was to install a WordPress plugin that will announce new articles to Twitter. As you might guess, I’m not a big fan of Twitter, or any other closed-source Web 2.0 thing. I use a few social network things, but not Twitter at present because I don’t really want yet another login.
So, I decided to solve a more general problem of status updates by using ping.fm and updating a wordpress plugin to work on PHP 4, as well as 5. I know PHP 4’s end-of-life is nigh but the target server still runs it for the forseeable future. While waiting for API key approval, on the same day as our server hiccough, GoDaddy broke ping.fm which broke the communication.
Now, while I could set up two ping.fm-like update services to avoid the single point of failure at a closed service, but that would mean that any updates would appear twice. Alternatively, some of the Twitter-like services can be told to watch the WordPress blogs for updates, but each one would need to be configured in a different way. Finally, there’s already a problem of redundancy and context with ping.fm which makes Adam Darowski and others hate it.
Can we solve this? Can we get support for the NoseRub protocol into everything and make a social network network? Will good things come out of the W3C Workshop on the Future of Social Networking, 15-16 January 2009 in Barcelona? Is the ultimate solution to junk all the closed social networks?
I wish I knew. In the meantime, at least it keeps me in work, hacking plugins, connecting stuff together. It’s bloody annoying sometimes, though. It seems like a Web 2.0 version of having a carpet that’s too small for the room, so you never get the whole floor covered at once.