Does the world need another Twitter clone? How about thousands of them? Identi.ca is a Twitter competitor that us running on an open source platform called Laconica. The product is open source and can be installed and rebranded anywhere including behind corporate firewalls.
The trend with these services is to become more and more distributed and eventually interconnected. I would fully expect Google to implement a common protocol for these services to become universally integrated in the future. For now we'll have to rely on tools like Ping.fm and Summize (which was purchased by Twitter today) to carry out our conversations.
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- More and more Twitter competitors will rise up taking niche communities with them as Twitter remains on top for the foreseeable future
- Open source versions of Twitter will begin appearing behind corporate fire walls acting as communications tools and helping knowledge managers compile conversations across the enterprise
- Oddly during Twitter's periods of sporadic downtime, sites like Identi.ca were so crushed with traffic that they also crashed limiting Twitter's exposure
- Core components missing here are the API, mobile integration (both of which are allegedly down the road)
- Twitter's own open-source software is out there and may trump all of the up and comers
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