[sf-lug] any opinions or thoughts on identi.ca?

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Sat Sep 12 02:57:03 PDT 2009


On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 6:37 PM, Michael Shiloh <michaelshiloh1010 at gmail.com
> wrote:

> i finally joined identi.ca, the OSS alternative to twitter. not that i'm
> such a big twitter user anyway, but i figure i should put my tweets where my
> mouth is, as it were.

I haven't researched this issue much, but Identi.ca touts its service as
being more Free (as in Free Speech) than Twitter.  They claim that it is
easier to fork their service than Twitter.  I am on Identi.ca as einfeldt .
I use Identi.ca because of their emphasis on Free (as in Free Speech).  I
have not actually tried to use any of Identi.ca's features for data or
software portability (since I am a relatively simple end user incapable of
doing so), but I am supporting Identi.ca for the same reason that I try to
use only Free Software when I can.

For me, Twitter is a necessary evil, the same way that Gmail is a necessary
evil.  I wouldn't use Google's products if there were Free alternatives that
allow me to do things as easily as I can with Google.  Gmail's ability to
search my vast inbox of 41k emails is simply astounding.  Likewise, Twitter
is very popular and has good reach.  So I use those two services without
pretending that they are much more than a necessary evil.  And Google does
employ several key FOSS developers and supports lots of FOSS coding.  And
Twitter, like Google and Facebook, etc., are commercially prominent examples
of innovative stuff that you can do with GNU-Linux.  We really need to find
more ways to make money with Free Software.  So even though Twitter's
services employ non-Free software, and is less Free than Identi.ca, I use
them both.  But I am on Identi.ca because I like the fact that they go
farther toward supporting Free Software and Free Data.

Here is what Identi.ca has to say about its emphasis on Free:



How is Identi.ca different from Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, Plurk, others?

Identi.ca is an Open Network Service <http://opendefinition.org/ossd>. Our
main goal is to provide a fair and transparent service that preserves users'
autonomy. In particular, all the software used for Identi.ca is Free
Software <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Software>, and all the data is
available under the Creative Commons Attribution
3.0<http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/>license, making it
Open Data.

The software also implements the
OpenMicroBlogging<http://openmicroblogging.org/>protocol, meaning that
you can have friends on other microblogging services
that can receive your notices.

The goal here is *autonomy* -- you deserve the right to manage your own
on-line presence. If you don't like how Identi.ca works, you can take your
data and the source code and set up your own server (or move your account to
another one).
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