Openness and microblogging

This entry was originally posted as a comment on Xuenay’s blog. Also: doesn’t LiveJournal support real hyperlinks in comments? Ultra-suckage.

I’ve always found Twitter to be a very interesting concept, but I don’t use the service myself. I find its minimalism compelling, but its terrible at representing conversations or replies. Jaiku on the other hand has a few very appealing mobile location centric features.

As with any blogging systems, it’s the content that makes the whole thing worth looking at. Some really entertaining writers are currently using Twitter to post hilarious one-liners – I follow these with RSS like I’d do with any blog, without being a registered user.

I use Facebook’s status feature in an almost Twitter-like fashion, mainly because almost everyone I know already is into Facebook. I’m very disappointed in FB’s walled garden-approach: status messages or replies to these, along with other potentially useful things, like posted links, don’t have obvious unique urls or archive views you can browse back to after some time, and are pretty much not reachable from the outside. It is, however possible to get RSS feeds both of your own and your friend’s status messages.

As my FB status messages really are something I consider a semi-daily writing exercise, I do want them archived. I save my status messages in a WordPress install I set up together with Feedwordpress and Feedburner, but this doesn’t of course save any comments someone may post on FB.

What I’m trying to get at is that microblogging, as a concept, needs to become more mature and standardized, or it will lag behind like instant messaging has done for a decade or so. OpenMicroBlogging and it’s reference implementation, Laconica have the potential to revolutionize public discourse on the internet beyond what’s possible with today’s already interesting services. Proprietary platforms such as Twitter, Jaiku and Facebook have the advantages of large user bases and cell phone connectivity but they really need to use something like OpenMicroBlogging protocol for cross-service communication to become really useful.

4 Comments

  1. Kaj Sotala says:

    Also: doesn’t LiveJournal support real hyperlinks in comments?

    It usually does. Might be some sort of a limitation on OpenID users, or something.

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