I’m not sure why, but I’ve become hooked on Twitter. I find it to be interesting because I don’t get hooked on new social network-like sites very easily, but I’m stuck in here pretty good. Here’s some random thoughts that I’ve pulled together concerning my use of the site:
- I really enjoy the 140 character constraint. I feel as if I become more creative in my posts and choose my content more wisely. I’m intrigued by the concept of Microblogging as a whole – the result feeling completely different from normal blogging.
- Being able to update it from your cell phone, in a pinch, is absolutely key. This is a major differentiator from normal blogging.
- It took me a while to realize this but the major differentiator of Twitter, compared to just straight-up blogging, is that you have a feed reader integrated into your blogging engine. It’s such a smart and obvious concept, once you think about it. It definitely makes the cost of starting a Twitter competitor that much higher (since you have to build a network in order for it to become useful).
- I’ve often wondered if a distributed twitter would be possible – more decentralized like normal blogging. I think it would work, as long as your blogging engine was also a feed reader (actively pulling in your friends content).
It’s horribly buggy and incomplete (at this point, it’s nothing more than a crippled blogging engine – no networking or mobile aspects) but someday I hope to wrap it up and release it, open source, for all to consume. The Ajaxy bits are pretty slick (one-page login, logout, posting, etc.) – I hope to put some more effort into them at some point. It’s in PHP 4 (compatible with 5, as well) and has no dependencies – so it should be stupid simple to deploy to the server of your choice. If anyone is interested in hacking on the code, please let me know, I’d appreciate that as well.
Hamish M (February 2, 2008 at 2:25 am)
I’ve gotten more into Twitter over the past few weeks (starting with actually joining the service, hehe) — but I’ve found it a really great way to network and socialize with people in a very casual and passive way.
I’m surprised I’m not already following you, I thought I’d searched out all the names in my feed reader… oh well, better late than never.
By the way, Bitlog looks very cool. Seems like a popular idea these days, especially with the new WordPress Prologue Theme.
Colin Barrett (February 2, 2008 at 2:25 am)
Looks very interesting. I couldn’t use twitter without Twitterific or at least the im interface. though.
Xavier Noria (February 2, 2008 at 3:59 am)
I think there are a few twitter user profiles. For example, regarding timing there are people that read twitter asynchronously, and people that follow it as synchronously as possible.
I am in the latter group and use IM, because one of the things that hooks me the most is the spontaneity of the twits, I like to read them as they are posted.
Lim Chee Aun (February 2, 2008 at 4:40 am)
Hi, been following your blog and now following your tweets. And ya, Twitter is addictive. Bitlog looks cool but the name seems uh, a little ‘common’, don’t you think? Google it.
Brian (February 2, 2008 at 5:30 am)
This is horribly whorish of me, but check out hashtags.org. It allows contextual tagging of tweets. And I did all the js stuff in jquery, even though there’s not that much. When do we get comet support in jquery?
Dr Nic (February 2, 2008 at 7:12 am)
Hmm, built on a Git backbone where you have schedule sync between a shared repo containing messages.
Jason Huck (February 2, 2008 at 8:27 am)
A distributed Twitter clone would be great, but the biggest problem is getting people to use it. Google “microblogging service” — I was surprised to see how many are out there, most of which I’d never heard of before. Even looking at some of the more well-known ones like Jaiku, Pownce, or Tumblr, *nobody’s there*. I’m not going to keep the Pownce app open all day for the same two people I know or follow on that service when they’re both also on Twitter *with everyone else*. >
Scott T. (February 2, 2008 at 11:35 am)
I’ve heard Bre (of Make video podcast fame; now works for Etsy and is starting a hacker collective in Brooklyn) mention he’s talking to peeps about building a twitter clone on the back of XMPP/Jabber for messaging. The nice part about that approach is you can leverage existing messaging clients for posting, so for people with fancy phones with data plans that can run an XMPP client (like the mobile Google Talk) you could post and receive messages that way — without the expense of running an SMS gateway. That said, the really great thing about twitter IMO is the SMS gateway — but those cost $$. But if you built it on XMPP, anyone could run an SMS gateway service for fee (or ad supported, etc.) that passed messages back and forth for you.
Chris Anderson (February 2, 2008 at 12:30 pm)
I’ve had the Twitter addiction too. It leveled off after a little bit, but that might be just me. (It’s hard to keep up with a bunch of people.)
Nevertheless, I was so taken by microblogging that I wrote the 140 character limit into Grabb.it’s mp3 blogs. I think there’s more to microblogging than people realize.
Karl Swedberg (February 2, 2008 at 12:37 pm)
I’ve found Twitter to be addictive, too, even though I don’t follow many people, and very few follow me. To extend its utility, I parse my Twitter feed, filter items a bit, pretty them up, and have the most recent 6 or so appear on my personal blog. It’s nice to have more frequent updates on the blog because, regrettably, I’ve gone from 2 full entries per week to 2 per month. Also curious to hear other ways people are using/packaging their tweets.
John, would be cool to have some sort of option in your clone that would allow posting to both your bitlog and Twitter to make a transition more palatable.
Scott T. (February 2, 2008 at 1:09 pm)
@Karl, yeah that wouldn’t be hard to implement using the Twitter APIs (and it might actually go through if Twitter isn’t down!). You could probably also write a twitter bot that you could d msg to post to your bitlog, bootstrapping Twitter’s SMS gateway.
Richard D. Worth (February 2, 2008 at 2:41 pm)
@Karl, Thanks for getting me started on twitter recently. I got hooked and brought on 5 others in 2 days.
John, I like the bitlog idea. As others have said, integration and/or migration services could be quite interesting.
Nick Vidal (February 2, 2008 at 3:15 pm)
You might want to check ISS (Instant Syndicating Standards). It’s a set of open standards that enable people to discover and syndicate information within their social network. I’m using jCarousel to build a distributed and portable social network. It also integrates a feed reader and a blogging engine nicely.
Bruce (February 4, 2008 at 7:42 pm)
This looks really nice!
Any reason it wouldn’t make sense to support OpenID login?
keenan Brock (February 5, 2008 at 8:13 pm)
Great thread thanks all
Twitter feels more like a feed reader to me than chat.
You subscribe to someone’s feeds.
There is a track back facility.
and the ability for someone to view your blogroll and the messages in that blog roll.
Now as an rss client, you can post or read messages via many channels. Way cool
Jabber/xmpp seem like great ways to handle updates, trackbacks, and posting/reading messages.
Twitter sure did a great job with such a simple concept. Would be great if twitter would work with non twitter servers. Like jabber/rss
Treating twitter as rss would open up to all sorts of server implementations. And shared hosting. Treating as a jabber client sure limits the implementation.
Mariusz (February 7, 2008 at 4:05 am)
Why don’t you simple use Jaiku? It’s much better than Twitter and I think Google has adopted it. I think they are now re-developing and you need an invite, but that’s not a big problem since I’m a user already.