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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