Laconica’s Not the Only Cool Kid In Town – Introducing OpenMicroblogger

omb.gifThere’s a new kid in town in the microblogging space, and no it’s not just “another microblogging site”. I talked to Brian Hendrickson, the lead developer behind OpenMicroblogger.org and its accompanying service OpenMicroblogger.com today and he may just have something to scare both Twitter, and Evan Prodromou of Identi.ca in their tracks. What’s amazing about it all is Brian has actually taken the OpenMicroBlogging protocol that Evan established and implemented the protocol in Brian’s own, non-laconica-based implementation of the protocol that would communicate with any other OpenMicroblogging protocol supported site, similar to the way I mentioned on LouisGray earlier. Yes, OpenMicroblogger.com and the accompanying open source software it is based on will talk to Identi.ca, and on a completely different code base. That means you can follow anyone on Identi.ca within the OpenMicroblogger.com service and vice-versa, and they were written from the ground up by two entirely different developers!

What’s even more amazing about this new platform is that while not a WordPress implementation, Brian seems to have made the platform almost entirely compatible with the WordPress plugin and theme API. So, basically, if you are a WordPress developer, you can write your own extensions to the code, implement your own versions of the code, and write your own themes, all in the same way you do on WordPress. Brian wrote the code from the ground up using a framework he built and calls “dbscript”, and it contains no WordPress code whatsoever. He felt WordPress was too bulky to handle a full Microblogging platform (do I smell a potential acquisition by Automattic?). In fact, adding in integration with the OpenMicroBlogging Protocol was as simple as just adding a simple PHP plugin to his dbscript implementaion. The look and feel of OpenMicroblogger.com, his own implementation of the codebase, is all just an implementation of the WordPress Prologue theme that my friend Joseph Scott at Automattic wrote.

Picture 3.pngBrian tells me that while Laconi.ca‘s codebase is very good technology (he had very good things to say about Identi.ca, Evan, and the Laconi.ca codebase, especially when compared to Twitter), the technology underneath OpenMicroblogger and DBScript is even stronger and more scalable. According to him, “dbscript is an advanced ‘Restful’ framework with sophisticated features that are not found in the WordPress code base, it shares features with Ruby on Rails (ruby) and Django (python) — things like MVC, ActiveRecord, Routes, Content-Negotiation”. Because the underlying code is Restful, an API is almost inheritently provided for other developers to interact with your implementation of the code-base and write their own applications for it.

OpenMicroblogger and DBScript are based on an open source MIT license similar to the license Ruby is under. Brian says it took him just 8 weeks to write this advanced implementation, with other client projects going on at the same time and 2 kids, which shows how simple it is to implement the Openmicroblogging Protocol. It also shows his devotion to the work.

OpenMicroblogger.com, the service that shows off his code, has some really nice features (also available in the code) such as sharing links and pictures with friends – definitely a little more advanced than Identi.ca in that manner. He fully supports the OpenID standard (he actually wrote his own OpenID host using his framework!), and is very big on OAuth and other standards and open protocols so you can expect to see much more around that with the site.

This one simple and amazing example goes to show that we have only hit the tip of the iceberg here on microblogging technology. Now that a Protocol has been established, you will see more and more sites and developers write their own extensions of the protocol to implement their own creative microblogging solutions and layers. This very creative and innovative solution could just be a more advanced option than Laconi.ca to consider for Microbranded solutions in the future. Brian has taken “viral coding” to heart.

You can download the code, try out, learn more and help out the OpenMicroblogger.org project over at http://openmicroblogger.org. I’ve created an account at http://openmicroblogger.com/?jessestay, and you can actually just go there, follow me, and follow my OpenMicroBlogger.com updates right on Identi.ca! Or, you can go over and create an account for yourself.

UPDATE: Brian corrected me about it being more scalable than Laconi.ca (see the comments below) – according to him, “Actually Laconi.ca is the more robust code and is more scalable. dbscript is a meta-object framework and runs some extra queries to “learn” about the db schema — it is currently not very optimized for performance, but is geared towards being programmer-friendly.”

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jessestay

Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called SocialToo.com which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

0 thoughts on “Laconica’s Not the Only Cool Kid In Town – Introducing OpenMicroblogger”

  1. Didn't work for me. After I registered, could not sign in. Kept getting an OpenID assertion failed: Server denied check_authentication error.

  2. I'm going to point Brian to the comments here so he can track your issues.
    Keep in mind this is brand new so I'm sure it has its own problems to work
    through as any site just launched has.

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