Federated status

Unusually, I am awake very early this morning, probably because Lana isn’t here at the moment. As such I logged on and sent a message to Twitter. Then I logged onto Facebook to see what’s happening, and updated my status there as well. Finally, I took a look at the new Plazes interface (thanks Andy, Roo. Andy has more on it here) and lo and behold you can now augment your current plaze with what you are doing.

So that’s three places where I independently had to type “Wondering why I am up at 5:20am” There is an obvious opportunity to develop a federated status system whereby you can update in one place and it propagates out to various social sites, as well as allowing your IM clients to pick that state up as well. Obviously in the case of Twitter there is value in doing more than just automatically sending status type messages, but it would still be useful.

Looking around google, I’m not surprised that others have thought the same, but so far there only seem to be partial solutions to the problem (e.g. Twitterbook which updates Twitter with your Facebook status, and a PHP script to allow Adium to retrieve from Facebook as well.

It would be nice not to have to use piecemeal solutions but to have a single web service in which I could publish my status and have it federated out to my designated subscribers. Unfortunately, this would rely on suitable APIs being available, and looking at Facebook as one example, it doesn’t allow status updating via API. Whilst you could nominate one site as your “master” site in this case, this would fall down as soon as you added another site with no update API. Thinking about it, what’s really needed is a standard and simple ability for all these sites to grab a status Atom feed and to automatically update from the latest entry in that, then it is just a case of deciding which site is the master (feed creator) and which are the slaves (feed consumers)


Twitterfeed is interesting.
And somebody has found a way to push status updates to Facebook via their mobile service.

4 thoughts on “Federated status

  1. Pingback: Drive Through… » Facebook platform introduces Twitter app

  2. Pingback: Updating Facebook status using PHP | Technologist For Hire

  3. Pingback: musc@> $daniele.rant | Out-Blog » Blog Archive » Facebook implemented a user.setStatus API!

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