Mitter and the Future, part Troix: The Alternatives

(This is getting long, doesn’t it?)

One more point to analyze the future of Mitter: The Alternatives.

Right now, the space that Twitter fills is getting crowded. Not that Twitter was there first, but it surely is the widest, most recognized service in the area. And, most of all, I’ll list one the ones I have an account.

  • Twitter (me): Ok, you all know Twitter. 140 chars, used to have updates and notifications via IM (but is down for a very long time already), updates and notifications via SMS.
  • Jaiku (me): Was there before Twitter. Works almost the same way: Messages are limited to 140 chars, updates and notifications via IM and SMS. Also, it provides a proper “reply to” function, which allows you to do a reply to an specific message (Twitter always points to the last message from the user you are replying to.) The problem with Jaiku is that, about an year ago, it was bought by Google and they closed the service to everyone. Right now, to get an account, you need an invitation code by someone that already have an account there.
  • Pownce (me): Offers way larger messages (around 400 chars, if I recall correctly), proper replies, can share links, files and events. Doesn’t have IM or SMS notifications (or updates) but you can receive notifications via email.
  • Facebook (me): Although it is a social network thing, it have a “What are you doing?” field (originally, it was a “[Username] is …” field.) As far as I can see, the status can be longer than 140 chars (but I’m not sure how long.)
  • Identi.ca (me): The new Twitter clone, but completely open source. You can download the sources and run your own service. And, because it works with the Open Micro-Blogging Protocol, you can still reply to people using other servers.
  • Tumblr (me): Tumblr works a little bit like Pownce: You can update your status, post pictures, links, audio and video. One the nice things that Tumblr does is create a page that actually looks like a blog to you.
  • Plurk (me): Almost the same as Twitter (140 chars), but it can save some space with “actions” (you start you update with a pre-defined verb.) Again, like Twitter, they have IM notifications and updates, but it’s down for the moment. They have a timeline feature, which displays the “progress”

Now re-read the list and notice that every single alternative offers things better the Twitter. And, still, none of the them actually harm Twitter’s popularity. Heck, not even the FailWhale seems capable of harming that. But, still the point remains: There are alternatives to Twitter, which work better and/or offer more features.

Which brings us back to the point of “plugable” networks…

‘Cause an idea is a terrible thing to waste

[2:23:32 PM] Julio Biason says: now I have two projects in my head
[2:23:46 PM] Julio Biason says: first one is a image gallery (much like Gallery), using tags, written in python
[2:23:51 PM] Gerald Kaszuba says: ooh
[2:23:58 PM] Julio Biason says: and something that I would call “Replicator”.
[2:24:02 PM] Gerald Kaszuba says: heh
[2:24:15 PM] Julio Biason says: replicator is my idea of “update all your social things in just one place”
[2:24:21 PM] Gerald Kaszuba says: nice
[2:24:43 PM] Julio Biason says: say, you want to update your picture? Just provide your password for, say, last.fm, facebook, orkut, twitter, pownce and it will upload to all of them and update all profiles.
[2:25:09 PM] Julio Biason says: want to write a blog post? no worries, we replicate it in your wordpress and last.fm (if you point that it is music related)
[2:25:15 PM] Gerald Kaszuba says: that’s quite cool actually
[2:25:18 PM] Julio Biason says: pictures? upload to orkut and flickr
[2:26:34 PM] Julio Biason says: i’m still not sure if I do it as an Gtk application, Cocoa application or a web application…
[2:26:49 PM] Gerald Kaszuba says: id go for web app myself
[2:27:22 PM] Julio Biason says: The good thing about being a web app is that all the other things are web apps too
[2:27:51 PM] Gerald Kaszuba says: well yeah… and accessable from anywhere
[2:27:57 PM] Julio Biason says: the bad thing is that i’ll have to save your passwords to access the other applications, and I’m not keen to putting my password somewhere (even if I wrote the app)
[2:28:16 PM] Gerald Kaszuba says: u can get them to type it in everytime! :)
[2:28:19 PM] Julio Biason says: Gtk would be a good choice, as I could (hopefully) easyly port to all other applications (using pygtk)
[2:28:33 PM] Julio Biason says: yeah, I could. but that would be annoying…
[2:28:38 PM] Gerald Kaszuba says: yeah

By the way, if you like those ideas, feel free to drop me a note and we can start working on them (I have everything set up for TAGallery, the web gallery, except that I don’t have any code yet.)