Although Laconica is currently the only microblogging service to support OpenMicroBlogging, Prodromou says that he hopes other microblogging sites will adopt it in the near future. Even without that support, the standard allows users hosted through different servers running Laconica to stay in touch.
Ryan Paul, a journalist and open-source software developer, is the major force behind Gwibber, an open-source desktop microblogging client that was the first to support Identi.ca. Gwibber allows its users to both send to and receive from microblogging sites in a client that runs through the desktop and doesn’t require the user to constantly refresh a website to see changes. The client also supports many other services, including Twitter, Jaiku, and Facebook. “My personal feeling about microblogging services is that without a client, it’s not going to get uptake very quickly,” Paul says. However, Gwibber currently works only on Linux. Paul notes that, although Laconica is still in its early stages, he thinks it’s a good starting reference point for efforts such as the OpenMicroBlogging standard. “I think that if you just put a standard out there, or if you just write a standard without having code alongside it, then you’re going to have problems,” he says. By contrast, he adds, having a body of code to work with helps a standard stay in sync with the demands of daily use.
Pete Prodoehl, an early technology blogger and early adopter of both Twitter and Identi.ca, says that he tried out the new service partly out of frustration with Twitter’s downtime, and partly because of his interest in open source. Prodoehl, who has more than 700 followers on Twitter and more than 100 subscribers on Identi.ca, recently instigated a “Twitter-Free Friday,” encouraging users to try out competitors of the troubled service. He says that, in order for Identi.ca to keep gaining ground, it’s important for the service to keep adding the capabilities that people have gotten used to elsewhere. Crucial, he says, is an interface that developers can use to easily build clients for Identi.ca.
Identi.ca’s Prodromou says that he hopes to work on getting more participation in the OpenMicroBlogging standard, and also on improving Identi.ca’s features. While no microblogging site has a clear business model, Prodromou hopes to make money by helping businesses build and host their own microblogging services based on Laconica, and possibly by adding premium services or advertising.