Wikitravel and Certifi.ca founder Evan Prodromou launched this week an open-source microblogging tool that will give users—including those in the enterprise—an alternative to industry leader Twitter.
Prodromou crafted an open source platform called Laconi.ca and a hub site, Identi.ca, to combat the “walled garden” situation of the Web 2.0 world where users can put content in, but they can’t take it out. (Case in point: Robert Scoble being kicked off Facebook for running code to port out his many contacts.) “There’s something not really Web-y about it,” said Prodromou. “We want a Web that is open, that crosses boundaries, and that uses open standards.”
People can use the Laconi.ca platform to brand their own microblogging for their own site, or as a sub-site. (This is where the revenue will come in eventually; running on a “freemium” model, those who do extensive rebranding of the platform for their own presence or company, or boast hundreds of users, will pay a fee.)
Marshall Kirkpatrick of the blog “Read Write Web” is also stoked on the fledgling technical specification OpenMicroblogging, which “allows users of one supporting subscription to send and receive messages securely across different microblogging services,” thus ensuring improved interoperability for users.
Prodromou said that this application has plenty of use in the enterprise space, where workers can use—and already are using—microblogging to communicate with each other and update coworkers on project progress or whereabouts.
“In corporations, you often really want to manage the application, including the way people use it and the look-and-feel, to safeguard the company’s reputation. This will give you a little more control and allow you to scale out correctly,” he said, pointing out that Twitter itself began as an internal workplace communication tool.
It will also be a good fit with the more mobile and Web 2.0-enabled companies that can then field communiqu