Home Identi.ca: May A Million Twitters Bloom

Identi.ca: May A Million Twitters Bloom

Identi.ca is a new microblogging service that launched today – but it’s not just another also-ran. The service is an Open Source, CreativeCommons framework for a distributed network of federated microblogging services.

If you’ve become interested in the paradigm changing model of communication popularized by Twitter but have been frustrated by Twitter’s frequent down time or other shortcomings – then Identi.ca could be for you.

Built by Evan Prodromou, creator of the wonderful site WikiTravel, Identi.ca offers a number of features that Twitter users will find of interest. We learned about the launch on the CreativeCommons blog; Identi.ca supports CC licenses for all the content that flows through it.

Note that initial interest is already challenging the first implementation of this service, they are working on improving performance but it will work best once there are multiple interoperable installs!

Jabber Support

Many people love Twitter’s messaging through GTalk, but the feature isn’t always available. It’s available immediately on Identi.ca.


We created an account on Identi.ca using an OpenID account in under 60 seconds. It made us happy.

Right: I got my Failwhale shirt in the mail today from FailWhale.com

Coming “Soon”

Identi.ca just launched today but lists a number of features it says are coming “soon,” including SMS, URL shortening, cross posting to Twitter and other services, a more AJAXy interface and much, much more. Exciting.

There is no “replies” tab on Identi.ca, but Twitter users will already be accustomed to that, right? We hope that functionality will come to Idneti.ca quickly.

Remote Subscription

Identi.ca uses a new technical spec in the works called OpenMicroblogging, something that would let users of one supporting subscription to send and receive messages securely across different microblogging services. This sounds like a great idea, and uses the OAuth user authentication protocol we like so much, but it doesn’t appear to be usable at launch.


Ultimately, this means federation. I put a customized version of the foundation software (called Laconi.ca) on my server, you put one to your liking on yours, we both get friends on our local copy and any other versions around the web – and everyone can communicate with each other just like we were using the same service from the same provider. Whoever comes up with the best alternative to the garbled name Identi.ca wins!

That’s something that many people have wanted to do for a long time.

Can it work, work it scale? At least it’s open source so the development community doesn’t have to play armchair quarterback for a black box like they are with Twitter. Maybe these little puppies can get tied into Gnip, the social media switchboard service we wrote about yesterday. Especially once Twitter integration happens, we expect to see Identi.ca become an important part of our work day here at RWW.

Now if you’ll excuse use, we need to go make a desktop app for Identi.ca using Fluid.

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