Micro-blogging with Laconica

I have been fairly busy this week and has set up a micro-blogging site on superuser using Laconica. Its an open source micro-blogging tool written in PHP. Laconica was created as a direct response of a need to create an open source, distributed alternative to Twitter. At the moment Laconica has a basic microblog feature which will most certainly be built on rapidly due to the open source nature of the software.

These are upcoming priority features for Laconica, which include:

  • SMS updates and notifications
  • A Twitter-compatible API
  • More AJAX-y interface
  • Cross-post to Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, etc.
  • Pull messages from Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, etc.
  • Facebook integration

Microblogging started as a way for young and technologically savvy users to keep in touch, and gradually the practice has moved into the mainstream. In the United States, for example, Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards started microblogging details from the campaign trail. Some traditional media organizations, including The New York Times and the BBC, have begun to send headlines and links in microblog posts. Other potential applications of microblogging include traffic and sports updates and emergency broadcast systems.

I think microblogging is a useful public relations vehicle. You can connect with influencers, and have the opportunity to connect with the network of people they follow, and you also can keep tabs on projects. I think the future will be microblogging platforms that are more tightly targeted. Take for example, PlaceShout it has an intrinsic value. It works like Twitter, but its goal is consumer reviews. Users have 100 characters to leave a review of a place of business, and the reviews are overlaid on Google Maps.