Twitter and the future of transmogrification

Technorati on Twitter

I proposed to Ma.gnolia a short while ago that they start using Twitter to broadcast their system status updates and they implemented it shortly thereafter.

The beauty of using Twitter is its flexibility — you can ping it using Jabber, the web, SMS or through its API. You can also receive updates through the same protocols, as well as via feed subscriptions. I call this “” — essentially the ability to morph data between forms and through various inputs.

It seems that others are picking up on the trend towards Twitterification — and I find it very interesting, especially as the differentiation between bot, aggregate and human is essentially nonexistent. Was it a service, a friend or one of many friends pinging you just then? One never knows!

So far I’ve found these non-individual, non-human Twitterers

Organizations & Companies


I’m sure there are more, but do you know of any more that I missed?

Mac Mash Pit/CocoaDevHouse tomorrow at Obvious Corp

Mash Pit logoJust in case you’re still in town and your fingers are itchin’ to push some pixels or get some code out, tomorrow there’ll be a Mac Mash Pit at Obvious Corp’s offices in South Park from noon till late afternoon. If you’ve got an hour or two to spare, it’ll be a great chance to meet the folks behind ODEO and Twitter and to get a little hacking done.

Rumor has it that Larry from Ma.gnolia will also be there as well as R. Tyler Ballance from the infamous Bleep Software and Blake Burris, the host, from CocoaRadio.

What’s a Mash Pit? Well, historically they’ve been day long events getting together multi-disciplinary and talented folks to work on projects that focus on problems described in human terms, like, how can you make it easier for folks to send contact info to each other. And so on. Recently, Mash Pits have become more theme-driven, with a number of OpenID Mash Pits popping up. So, it only seemed appropriate that while MacWorld was going on to bring the event to Mac developers and designers.

Hope to see you there tomorrow!

Information philanthropy

I hadn’t quite thought about the co-production economy from the standpoint of philanthropy, but in a message from Chris Baskind, the admin of the Lighter Footstep Ma.gnolia Group, he said:

I know there’s nothing more valuable to you than your time, so let me ask for it directly: please contribute great links when you see them. Ma.gnolia’s interface is snappier than ever, and it doesn’t take long to archive a resource that might really make a difference to someone down the line.

It occurs to me that perhaps in the information economy, quality information, links and good ideas really are useful and valuable surrogates in place of donating money, which require centralized bodies, disclosures and other “conversion taxes” (that is, changing your dollars and cents into things that are tangibly useful for an endeavor).

I dunno, thoughts?

Would you like Google Java with that?

Google has open sourced its Google Web Toolkit under the Apache 2.0 license. This is great news for Java-based web developers… but for other folks who prefer PHP and Rails, I’m not sure what to make of it. I do have to admit, their announcement and all the pieces of it make for a great example of a textbook launch of a new open source initiative.

ConceptShare nearing launch…

Our friends from the great white north are nearing the launch of ConceptShare — a collaborative design product that looks very complementary to apps like Basecamp and Bugzilla (if only I had this when I was at Flock!). They’ve finally released a video tour of how it works — and it’s looking awesome. Oh — and don’t forget to wish a happy birthday (Nov 13)!

The end of Web Two Dot Oh (drink!)

Nick leaves ValleyWag!

With the New York Times calling the beginning of Web 3.0 (not so much, say the trademark holders) and one of the few interesting diggers in the valley getting canned (see meme — did Winer really break this one?) in favor of dollars and cents over , I have to wonder whether the short period of Web 2.0-ness that began with the launch of IE7 has already come haltingly to an end.

I mean, when the personality assassin of Silicon Valley wants to go after the “audience with less interest about trivial scandals and far more interested in the financial impact Silicon Valley has on the world”, I guess, well, we all have to realize that it’s no longer about us, but about them. And about the money. And about the same boring drivel that made the last bubble so disgusting and soulless.

So, whatever, we’re not in a bubble. We’re just in a fucking hamster wheel, racing against time in perpetual beta, waiting for someone to unhook the wheel and let us escape to freedom. Or something.

Bon chance, Darling Nickie-boy!

Welcome to the Neighborhood 2.0

VOX header

Surely you’ve heard by now that Six Apart’s new neighborhood platform VOX has launched.

I really like it. In fact, it’s the first online “place” that my mom’s signed up with, who was shortly followed by my brother (who found me initially on Facebook and I cajoled him into joining VOX).

Now that they’re both on it, I actually feel pretty comfortable about them giving it a go without me chaperoning them along.

Don’t get me wrong… I mean, there’s a bit of complexity in VOX, but I kind of feel like, if they play around a little — with the teasers that incite you to actually contribute and connect (suggest a neighbor feature on the invite page is genius) — they might just get into all this “Web 2.0” stuff I’ve been yammering on to them about for ages.

So now, imagine going home for Thanksgiving and rather than having to explain “feeds” or “Flickr”, we can just follow up on posts that they read but never commented on… or photos of my neighbor’s that they liked… Imagine using VOX, with its facile design and attention to detail, to finally connect with folks who normally could care less about this stuff.

Yes, finally.

It’s funny, but lots of people talk about “designing for Grandma” or “soccer moms” or other supposedly technically inept audiences (though, who in reality are often just as — if not moreso — savvy than the folks making such comments). But I think VOX has gone further than many who have come before and have successfully built a product and a community that I wouldn’t mind introducing my mom to (in fact, I did just that) and who I wouldn’t mind taking her through so that I knew it made sense and so that she could get the most out of her time spent on it.

In fact — and this is critical — once she’s set up and off on her own, I trust VOX to not get in her way or insult her intelligence. Perhaps I’m belaboring the point, but there are just so many nuances that make VOX feel friendly and worth working with that it’s important to point out that VOX is, above all, an excellent example of applied restraint and the execution of clear intention.

The one geeky thing I’ll add is that I’m eagerly awaiting OpenID integration so that we can start pushing forward with making the experience of grassroots identity consolidation as easy and good looking as VOX.