Yes, I obviously have yet to learn this lesson, so I went ahead and signed up for another social media service. Here I am on identi.ca
In case you haven’t heard of identi.ca, the short summary is that it’s Twitter done right.
Everything Twitter currently does is provided by identi.ca, plus some. These additions are particularly interesting to me, since they primarily revolve around openness.
- You get OpenID support for starters, which you can associate with and use to log in to multiple accounts (if for some reason you’d want more than one).
- Free – as in no, really… free – The software itself is truly free software; the main identi.ca server that most people will sign up on and use runs an unmodified copy of the source that’s available for everyone to download and use on their own servers. Leaving no stone unturned, even the data published to their servers is licensed under Creative Commons.
- Federation – Here’s the kicker, the one that sent me over the edge. If you do choose to take advantage of the freedom listed above and set up your own server, your server can participate in the larger network, extending it rather than becoming yet another alternative or competitor (unless you want to do that).
You can even start out on their servers and move your account to your own server(s) later, and keep on participating in the network you have helped to build. I don’t think I’m overstating things when I say that this aspect is revolutionary in the new world of social media.
At this point the only advantage Twitter has in its favor is its user base. Now, considering the nature of these services and the value they provide, this is admittedly a huge advantage.
However, it is my hope is that in time the benefits inherent in the identi.ca approach and the game-changing opportunities for innovation without fragmentation that it provides will win over users (and / or bridge to and from Twitter itself) in the end.