ABC “Unofficially” Partners with Twitter-Alternative StatusNet

ABC News Radio and StatusNet, the open-source microblogging service that serves as the foundation for, have “unofficially” partnered to unveil a newswire for the radio service.

While the partnership may not be “official”, it is yet another vote of confidence in the Twitter-alternative and the open Web.

According to Dan Patterson, the digital platform manager for ABC News Radio, the partnership is not yet official because the two companies haven’t done the “lawyerly dance”, among other things. In his explanation of why ABC chose to work with StatusNet, Patterson writes a mini-treatise for an open, distributed Internet.

As the web continues to change traditional media, we see two different and equally strong paradigms emerging. The emergence of sites like Twitter, Tumblr and the social web has been mirrored and tempered by the growing prominence of closed systems like the App Store and Facebook. Now, we like and use all of these platforms.

But we think it’s equally important for brands and individuals to control their content and interactive experience with the social graph (Fail Whale, anyone?). To that end StatusNet provides a glimpse at the future of a distributed internet.

StatusNet also allows us to do some fun things with our content and experiment in ways that provide flexibility for errors (read: bugs!) and experimentation.

For now, Patterson says the site will be used for news distribution and audience engagement – the typical use of systems like Twitter and StatusNet – and will be available at Earlier this summer, StatusNet received a push in the form of $2.3 million and just recently the company introduced an iPhone app. The decision of a major media outlet to use their service is, in our eyes, a major vote of confidence in something other than the norm.

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