A few months back I started using the open source micro blogging service, Identi.ca. It was the open-source alternative for Twitter. I have since signed up for Twitter as it is heavily supported by other services I use such as Linkedin and Tumblr. There is also a large community using Twitter and without an account I was missing out on contacting people I may know.
Differences between Identi.ca and Twitter
Twitter’s a bit different to Identica, it takes some getting used to. What I like about Identi.ca is that you can go to the homepage of the site and see what anyone in the whole community has been denting about in real time. You can tag your profile so it’s easy for people with similar interests to stumble across it to learn a bit more about you. You can also join groups on Identica and write messages to a group, allowing all followers of the group to receive your message even though they may not be following you directly. This makes message integration a whole lot more effective. Another plus is the small size of Identi.ca’s community compared to Twitter. It makes it easy to find and connect with people without cluttering too much of your home page. The community on Identica is great for me as most groups and messages are IT related and dents are usually insightful. I rarely see anything like “I just came back from the gym” on there.
But still, I opened up a Twitter account.
Twitter’s been around for longer, has more coverage and credibility. Most candidates running in national elections around the world use twitter during their campaigns to engage with the public. Organisations use it as a feedback tool, influential public figures also let you into their lives by the way of Twitter.
On Twitter, I couldn’t get the same username that I have for identica so I had to get creative as well as settle for something else. One plus is that Identica provides support for Twitter meaning that if I post something on Identica, it appears on my twitter page almost instantly. Now that Linkedin provide integration with Twitter, every time I send a message on Identica (which automatically gets published in Twitter as well) Twitter then sends the exact message to my Linkedin status on my profile there. All I have to do is remember to stick “#in” somewhere in the message.
With Twitter/Identica, the functionality is only as good as the size and activity of your network. If you aren’t using Twitter to communicate events between close friends then, it’s usefulness becomes limited. On the same note, if you network isn’t using Twitter at the same pace you are then it becomes a bit irrelevant. I think that as long as the community continues to grow, Twitter will have an ever important presence on the internet.
Microblogging is a great service that fits between facebook or a blog. It doesn’t have to get too personal as you can set your profile to private. You also don’t need to invest a lot of time or effort as a blog would require. Another bonus is that it’s free.
Call me a nerd but I think that ipods, blackberry(s), wi, ps3, psp, xbox, HD LCD/LED, all become boring when all I really need to kill some time is an internet connection and access to Twitter and emails.