Archive of "Twitter"

Archive for the "Twitter" Category

µblogging in IRC

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Many of your are familiar with my desire to discover where new tech overlaps with existing tech. I’ve thought for some time that µblogging was similar to existing stuff, but couldn’t quite place my finger on what the model would be to have the same experience in an existing system.

I think I now have it for IRC.

A µblogging site is an IRC channel where everyone is /ignore’d by default and where messages that would have been highlighted get through even if the user is /ignore’d.

That way, mentions/replies (and track!) get through from everyone, and people you un-/ignore you get all messages from.

Microblogging: The Open Wall

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I first experienced the beginnings of the “social web” in highscool.  My friends all had Xanga sites, which were basically blogs about nothing.  One practise of theirs, which annoyed me and seemed not to be present on the rest of the blogs I found, was that they abused comments horribly.  Comments were never about the content of the post.  Rather, to contact someone, you would comment on their most recent post.  To reply to someone’s comment, you would comment on the most recent post on their site.

This is exactly how Myspace profile comments and the Facebook “wall” are intended to work.  Facebook even built the “wall-to-wall” feature to show conversations back and forth across this odd system.

Now think of microblogging. Think of how you use it. Yes, there’s a publication aspect to it for sure (I say what I want people to hear).  There is also, however, this element of public conversation people seem so interested in.  Back-and-forth between two or more people, on their own pages, archived publicly.

What’s even better about this realization? I hated the Xanga comments, I hate the Facebook wall (and their new “comment on status” feature), but I love @replies.  So it wasn’t the concept of public conversations I wasn’t getting, but merely an implementation detail.  @replies are piped through a good notification system (which for Twitter these days involved scraping a feed and re-posting it to a fake account so that I can get them via IM) so that they can be near-real-time when I have time, and are still there for me if I don’t.


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Another post based on a previous tweet. This took me at least an hour to debug, so I thought it might be worthwhile sharing.

IE, apparently, gets unhappy when you append nodes to the end of a node it hasn’t finished rendering yet. In practice, this means it blows up when you say document.body.appendChild before the page has loaded. The easy solution? Append to a node that has already loaded! What node is almost guaranteed to be there when the body is rendering? The head node of course! Here is code:


Push vs. Pull Alerts and Messaging

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Part of the big buzz surrounding Web 2.0 has been pull alerts as opposed to push alerts.

Push alerts / messages –  I send you a message.  This is how email and IM work.  I choose when, where, and how the message is sent and largely control how you receive it.  I send an email, you get it in your inbox.

Pull alerts / messages – I send a message which may (or may not) be intended for you primarily.  You decide when, where, how, and IF you receive it.  This most common form of this is RSS/ATOM feeds.  I publish to my blog / Twitter / whatever and you subscribe to me if you want to.  You can receive alerts via email, IM, Xanga, Facebook, Google Reader, BoxtheWeb, Sage, or a myriad of other options.

Some have said that push alerts are dying.

This makes some sense.  When I post on a forum, I don’t want to have their system email me every time there is a reply (email/push).  What I really want is to have easy access to a list of posts replying to mine to look over (RSS/pull).

However, this can go a bit too far.  Pull IM does exist to some extent, but it defeats the purpose.  I want you to see something NOW, it’s URGENT, INSTANT.  Pull does not fit this.

Push alert systems, however, just refuse to die!  Facebook/Myspace messages/wall posts.  Blog comments.  New friend-group messaging systems like Pownce.  Push is extremely popular.

The masses are rarely right, but perhaps we shouldn’t brush off push alerting altogether at this point.

My Status

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We need a unified and federated status system.  Something so simple, it should be easy to federate.

Why?  Because right now I set my ‘status’ (ie, what I’m doing, a small tidbit to share) on my Jabber account, my Twitter account, and my Facebook account.  If I were a member in more places I’d be doing it more.  There needs to be a way to set it in one place and then propagate it.

But wait!  We do have a standard, federated system for this!  Jabber/XMPP itself is a presence (that includes status) protocol.  How could this be made to work?  Rather easily.

Already anything I say to the Twitter bot from Jabber goes into my Twitter.  What SHOULD happen is that whenever I change my Jabber status THAT goes into my Twitter.   Facebook could easily create a similar bridge.