This is another of these web services that I'm usually so fond of - a simple but terribly useful tool that does just one thing and does it brilliantly. Postica, sadly, is not brilliant - but it has a couple of useful features nonetheless.


The screengrab above probably explains the concept entirely. You can add notes to an otherwise blank page, choose a colour and move them around. You can also upload small (2-5MB) files by attaching them to notes (see the pink sticky). Probably the most useful feature is the ability to add a note via Twitter, by direct message (something I actually have been finding rather useful).

Finally, you can share notes, although I was only able to manage this using my own email address, so I think it may only work for those already on Postica, even though the FAQ suggests otherwise.

I hate to say it, but I don't think Postica offers enough. I may continue to use it for the Twitter integration, but with services like Evernote around, they need to add some other innovative touches if they want any attention.

The new Joss Whedon project is a revolution in direct-to-web production, showing that a web drama can be high quality. Imagine a cross between Mystery Men and the Buffy musical 'Once More With Feeling', and you probably have the vibe.

Dr. Horrible

The idea came about during the Hollywood writer's strike earlier this year, when many writers were giving the web some serious consideration. Let Joss explain in his own trademarked Whedonspeak:

... I finally decided to do something very ambitious, very exciting, very mid-life-crisisy. Aided only by everyone I had worked with, was related to or had ever met, I single-handedly created this unique little epic. A supervillain musical, of which, as we all know, there are far too few.

The idea was to make it on the fly, on the cheap – but to make it. To turn out a really thrilling, professionalish piece of entertainment specifically for the internet. To show how much could be done with very little. To show the world there is another way. To give the public (and in particular you guys) something for all your support and patience. And to make a lot of silly jokes. Actually, that sentence probably should have come first. [read all]

Neil Patrick Harris is brilliantly cast as Doogie Howser, gone evil. Nathan Fillion plays his nemesis, square-jawed superhero Captain Hammer (introduced in a My Space webcomic) perfectly. Another smart move was to cast web-savvy internet kitten (and actress) Felicia Day. of YouTube hit The Guild.

If you fancy watching a quick teaser, I've embedded it below, but why not just go straight to Act I...

Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

Read more good stuff at Wired and USA Today. This bodes well for the future...

Summize had become one of the most useful and most polished Twitter services, a fact apparently recognised by Twitter who just snapped up the technology (and the five Summize engineers). The search engine has been rebadged with the Twitter logo and moved to


The Summize Blog has a nice potted history of the site and explains some of the thinking behind the search technology. The Twitter post also includes a neat little sketch showing how they plan to integrate their new toy into their main service:

Twitter Search mockup

This is a great move from Twitter. I hope they are considering buying up some of the other standout uses of their API, like TwitPic, Twitterfeed and Tweetburner (and maybe Twiddict too!). Moving in this direction will quickly put them miles ahead of the competition, which has really been hotting up lately.

Tweet Scan seems to have pipped Summize and others by adding new upstart micro-blog service Identica to its search index. Confusingly, the two searches have not been integrated. To search Identica you have to enter your term into a subtly different page.

Still, it's nice to see a Twitter-centric service embrace the new micro-blogging platform. It seems certain that the open-source Laconica will inspire many other Twitter services to embrace other platforms also.

Sorry for the lack of real updates recently, but I have been spending most of my time job hunting. Thankfully, with some success. This coming Monday I begin as a Web Assistant for BBC Wales, working primarily on the Nature site. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to work for a company that gets the internet. I feel like I am a pretty capiable web designer, but there is no doubt in my mind that I have a lot to learn about good usability, accesibility, semantics and editorial skills, not to mention media production and distribution. I don't really know what the future holds, but this is one big step in the direction I want to be going.

At the moment I am organising a big move from Plymouth to Cardiff, and the first few weeks in any new job are pretty hectic, so don't expect many new posts from me. In fact, I'm thinking about shifting focus somewhat, but I haven't settled on anything yet.

In the meantime, you can catch me on the Twitter. Also, the foobot is still slaving away, keeping you up to date with the latest and greatest links from me. My Tumblelog,, is due for a bit of a revamp, but it still aggregates my content nicely. All of this is due for a revamp in the near future, so please stay tuned. launched the other day to compete for attention with all the other URL shorteners, the classic example being TinyURL. In my recent roundup I showed how many of the alternatives had unique selling points. So what does the newcomer from Betaworks offer?


Pretty much everything, it turns out. Of course, it will shorten your URL, and like many others, you have the option to use a custom keyword to make the link more memorable (eg. But that's just the start. A cookie remembers the last 15 links you shortened and lets you view stats like clickthroughs, traffic sources, thumbnails and even a mirror on Amazon S3.

If you're interested, Dave Winer elaborates some more on the thinking behind the service on his blog and Webmonkey has a simple guide to making use of the API.

Following on from my last post a few months ago, Twitter applications with actual applications, here are some other, less useful Twitter-related services. For more of the same in future, check out my bookmarks tagged with 'twitter'.


It's no secret that Twitter is struggling to scale. Frequent downtime for maintenance, disabling core functionality under periods of heavy load and regular appearances of the Fail Whale have become a 'part of the charm'.

Twiddict is here to satisfy your addiction. Post your message here, and it will save it until Twitter is back online, then automatically post it for you.


Twitter Counter

Handy for stroking the ego (perhaps) is Twitter Counter. Just type in your username (or anyone else's) to get some basic follower stats. You can subscribe to email updates, but the nicest feature is the button provided to let you add your count to your blog, or wherever.

You can choose from several default styles, or make your own entirely.


Almost entirely pointless, but very pretty is TwittEarth. See live tweets rendered on a 3D globe. Also available as a screensaver.



Finally, this one is almost useful. TinyPaste lets you exceed the 140 character tweet limit. Just type your message in here and when finished it will convert your epic prose into a short URL to paste into Twitter, or indeed anywhere. (eg:


There is also a handy Firefox add-on to speed things up. It'd be nice if it let you post directly to your micro-blog of choice though. is either a valuable resource in this Web 2.0 era of endless social networking communities, or a sign that things have gone too far. Simply put, lets you update your status on Twitter, Plurk, Jaiku, Pownce, Brightkite, Facebook, FriendFeed, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Blogger, Tumblr, Bebo, hi5, Mashable, Xanga, Plaxo, MySpace and now, with more being added all the time.

Ping-fmYou can send updates via email, IM, various gadgets, apps and widgets, or build something yourself using the API. In addition, you can 'group' your different services. By default defines 'micro-blogs' and 'statuses', letting you choose which group you want to update. When you're not using the web interface, you can use customisable 'triggers' (like @s for status updates).

And that's it. Another service that does a simple job, brilliantly. So now you can update all your services at once, and collect all the updates on FriendFeed or one of the other aggregation services. The cycle is complete.

If you want to sign up, the current beta code is "pingyoulater". Enjoy.

Twitter has a new rival in town: (although, as I write this the domain resolves to ''). This micro-blogging platform has one killer feature - it's open source. If you're so inclined, you can grab the source from and start your own Twitter competitor today. Not only is the source free, but your content will be too, as you have to agree to the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence to join up. Specific exceptions are made for private data like your, email address, IM address, phone number.


OpenID is supported, as well as OpenMicroBlogging, which seems pretty essential if a service like this is going to be competitive. It is the nature of open source projects to fork, and making the platform compatible with others will allow a much larger community to grow. (Maybe Twitter, Plurk and the others will all work together in the future, but until then I guess we'll have

So Control Yourself Inc. have provided all the right open credentials, but is Identica any good? And is it a Twitter killer?

Maybe. As I write this, Identica has only been public for two days. It has garnered pretty large numbers and created quite a buzz already, but it still lacks a few essentials. It has been slow and suffering from network timeouts and currently has no replies tab, API or SMS support. In fact, there is a huge bug list pointing all this out, along with many great feature ideas. Twitter has been teetering on the verge of true awesomeness for a while now, so I think it is still possible for a service like Identica to sweep in and take the initiative.


I hate to say it, but my biggest gripe is how bland the design is. I know this is a minor criticism, but they need to add some template love sooner rather than later. Lets have a little personality.

So, Identica is more potential than anything, but that is true of every so-called web 2.0 service. Openness, in this instance at least, gives Identica a real shot at long-term success. Amusingly, this could all lead to a terribly confusing Evan vs. Ev in the great Battle of the Microblogs '08. Bring it on, I guess!

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