Importance of Open MicroBlogging

Pete Prodoehl, someone I encountered on, has a nice blog post on the importance of open microblogging that complements some of my thoughts from my piece yesterday on scripting Twitter and

So what this means is, opening up the world of MicroBlogging to all… Having Twitter interact with with your own server running Laconica (or some other new software yet to be written) or Facebook or Myspace, or whatever. Any site/software that follow the standards of the OpenMicroBlogging spec would be able to participate… and as a user of any of these sites, you’d be able to communicate across services with others. So maybe you prefer how Facebook integrates the OpenMicroBlogging spec into it’s platform, you use them… meanwhile, your friend uses Twitter, and that’s ok, you can still talk to each other as if you were on the same system.

This would provide a solution to one of my long term problems with all these social networks and services. I get overwhelmed trying to find and follow all my friends on all these different services. I am also annoyed that I still have to do the heavy lifting or trust some aggregator to post once and update all. Pushing this problem lower down, to a protocol concern, alleviates this almost entirely.

If I can do a remote subscribe to a friend on their server of choice or by subscribing on a popular aggregator knowing what I am really getting is a proxy to that authoritative server, then I don’t have to worry about finding and following that person everywhere. If they are only generating one stream of messages, then sites like Facebook, FriendFeed, etc. just become identical copies plus whatever unique services those sites offer in addition. If all I want are the status messages, which really is about all I have time for, this is a much more attractive model to me.

I think it has the potential to help solve my concerns around portable identity too. If I can pick one micro blogging server, like, and any one on any standard server can follow me then I don’t have to establish a new profile on each of those serves. No silos, no need to spread my identity data so widely.

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