open microblogging protocol – Stay N Alive

Fire Signal Server – The Inspiration Behind

logo.pngMy good friend, Scott Lemon, made me aware of an interesting project underway that appears to possibly have been the inspiration behind, the open source software behind the service, The project is called “Fire Signal“, and is the brain child of Ron Whitman, the developer behind the Twitter Traffic alerts site, Commuter Feed.

Fire Signal appears to be a set of standards set out to encourage micro-blogging platform developers to build their systems in an open, distributed way. states that they are building off of which is based on the “Open Microblogging Protocol“. Zenji Open Projects (Ron Whitman’s set of open standards) calls this protocol, “Fire Signal”. According to the Zenji Open Projects wiki,

“Fire Signal is an open protocol designed to allow users to publish and send short public and private messages of 160 characters or less across distributed web-based networks of Fire Signal Servers, the second initiative of this project. The concept behind this is commonly known by the term “micro-blogging”, popularized primarily by the web service Twitter and a growing number of competitors. “

650px-FireSignal_Overview.pngAccording to the diagram presented on the same page, the concept looks amazingly like the concepts behind, with multiple content servers all sharing data between each other. I see no links to code on the project (it seems to be a standard only, similar to the micro blogging protocol references), and Ron Whitman seems to be the only contributor, but the site does claim that is a working example of Fire Signal Server. It’s interesting that the website and openmicroblogging website make no mention of Fire Signal Server, nor does

It’s hard to tell if this was the origin of or not, or if several ideas all began at once, and ended up having the majority of efforts focused towards the project, but if it is the inspiration, Ron Whitman deserves a lot more credit for his contribution now that seems to be taking off by storm. If not, this does seem like an excellent new project to help out with – I hope the two projects could work together. I’m interested to find out more about the origins of this and how it relates to – this concept is truly the future of micro-blogging!

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UPDATE: Per Evan Prodromou, founder of, and the project, the two projects are indeed separate. Hopefully Ron Whitman can take his great ideas and contribute with the cause now. It’s nice to see lots of great minds wanting such a standard!