Micro-blogging: 2 years later…

Almost exactly 2 years ago I started micro-blogging. Back then I signed up for Twitter, Pownce, and Plurk accounts. One month later I concluded that I really liked Twitter and that Pownce and Plurk were annoying. A few days later I discovered Identi.ca – a FLOSS version of Twitter and decided I would send frivolous tweets to Twitter and tecnological dents to Identi.ca. Then, a little while later Pownce was taken off the net. So what has happened in the intervening years?

Over the course of the those two years I have mostly micro-blogged via API. I just find it so inconvenient to go to a particular website to make a post. This is especially true since I have gone to programs that federate all my micro-blogging into one place. In the same way that I use Pidgin rather than AIM, Yahoo Chat, GChat, Facebook chat, etc, I like to have one problem to send out my micro-posts. I started off with Twitux on Linux and Tweetdeck on Windows. I didn’t like Tweetdeck because it was too dang slow, so I stopped using it. I used Flock for a while, but I quit that browser around a year ago and even uninstalled it a few months ago. Ever since taking my music collection off of my Windows computer, I completely only use it for photography and playing computer games. So I moved on to gwibber on Linux. The best thing about gwibber is that it works with Twitter, Identi.ca, and Facebook. Of couse, using gwibber means that I no longer make any distinction between what I send to Twitter and what I send to Identi.ca.

The interesting thing about using clients to tweet and dent is that I have no idea what the site looks like as well as some of the innovations they’ve implemented. I didn’t know until I clicked on someone’s twitter feed that you could change the background. Nor did I know that they had implemented “promoted tweets” or geolocation. With Identi.ca, I didn’t know they had implemented a tag cloud or a map at the bottom. Since Twitter just lets 3rd parties figure out how to hashtags, while Identi.ca actually makes use of hashtags, I have a very lopsided tag cloud because I’ve been using them inconsistently. Nor did I know Identi.ca had implemented groups. (I was wondering what the ! tag was for)

My tag cloud on Identi.ca
My tag cloud on Identi.ca

Also, in the intervening time, Google launched Buzz. Buzz is in a weird role. Mostly it just serves as an aggragator for my Twitter and flickr feeds to let my gmail-using friends know what’s up without having to subscribe to my different feeds. It also collects the statuses on my gchat account.

Content-wise, I’ve found micro-blogging to be useful, but I’m not as prolific as most. In fact, Identi.ca lists my daily post average as 1. Many days go by without my bothering to add a micro-blog post. Since I tend not to post about stuff like “I’m eating dinner” to keep my feed from being boring and I don’t post, “I’m at a party” so people don’t know when I’m home, I just don’t have as much to say as others. My posts tend to be expressions of extreme emotion: frustration at something going wrong or elation at something going right. Sometimes this has led to people offering solutions on how to solve my problem – mostly it just serves to help me vent.