Twitter, the increasingly vital information utility for the digerati, enjoys a love-hate relationship with its addicted user base, due to its unending series of outages. Many have called for an alternative to emerge, especially one that might have a distributed or federated approach to enable scaling with fault-tolerance.
With yesterday’s launch of social media feed utility service, Gnip, who were unable to secure an XMPP feed from Twitter in time for their debut, that chorus began to rise. Enter Identi.ca, a full-on Twitter clone with an open source, federated twist.
Is this a big deal? It’s certainly way too soon to tell. But Twitter’s strength to-date has been winning passionate loyalty from the super-connected early adopters, and those are exactly the people who are jumping on to Identi.ca’s train (at least for exploration’s sake).
My take? First, a confession. I am jealous of my friend Chris Messina, who has thousands of followers on Twitter. I have just a little over 500. Why? (Aside from the fact that Chris is truly deserving of a large audience?) [Full disclosure: Chris is the newest member of the “Social Web Fab Four” on the TV show that we’re launching next week. Check out the pilot here.] A key part of the reason I have so few followers is that I was late to adopt Twitter. Yep. I just didn’t get the power of microblogging until after the early adopter land-grab was over.
Okay, so basically, my sense is that is happening all over again. And my advice is that if you love Twitter (but wish you had more followers), you may want to invest some time now in helping build up Identi.ca. Yes, you’ll have to put up with climbing over some scaffolding, as this is clearly a work-in-progress.
But, go ahead. Jump in. Oh, yes, and “subscribe” to me, please. 🙂
I’m johnmccrea there.