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Archive for the ‘Microblogging’ Category

Plurk Responds to Microsoft’s Apology


Plurk has just issued their official response to Microsoft’s apology hinting that they are not ruling out the possibility of pressing legal charges against the Redmond software giant.

“We are currently looking at all possibilities on how to move forward in response to Microsoft’s recent apology statement. We are still thinking of pursuing the full extent of our legal options available due the seriousness of the situation.”

This whole debacle started a few days ago when Microsoft was accused of ripping-off Plurk’s design and code for use on their newly released microblogging service called MSN Juku. In response to the accusation, Microsoft quickly took the service down and followed it up with an apology acknowledging that the code was indeed copied from Plurk, not by them, but by an independent vendor that they hired to do the project.

Plurk, however, wants Microsoft not only to take responsibility but also be accountable with their actions as well.

This event wasn’t just a simple matter of merely lifting code; Due to the nature of the uniqueness of our product and user interface, it took a good amount of deliberate studying and digging through our code with the full intention of replicating our product user experience, functionality and end results. This product was later launched and heavily promoted by Microsoft with its big marketing budget.

Some people are saying that going against Microsoft in legal battle would only be a waste of time, especially because it wasn’t really Microsoft who did the copying but a third-party. Furthermore, Microsoft did immediately took down the service showing their strict observance on their policy regarding intellectual properties.

But then again, whatever course of action Plurk takes regarding this issue, they are sure to get huge amounts of exposure.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Join the discussion below!

Categories: Microblogging

Microsoft Rips-off Plurk’s Design and Code

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. For what Microsoft did to start-up company, Plurk, it’s more like a slap to the face.

Plurk, one of the biggest microblogging services in Asia, is accusing Microsoft China for ripping off not only their design but also their code with their beta release of MSN Juku, Microsoft China’s newly released microblogging service based on Windows Live Messenger launched last November 2009.

According to Plurk’s blog post,

“… we were absolutely shocked and outraged when we first saw with our own eyes the cosmetic similarities Microsoft’s new offering had with Plurk. From the filter tabs, emoticons, qualifier/verb placement, Karma scoring system, media support, new user walkthroughs to pretty much everything else that gives Plurk its trademark appeal, Microsoft China’s offering ripped off our service.”

To see for yourself, below is a screenshot of Microsoft Juku and Plurk:


If Microsoft wanted a horizontal style layout, they could’ve at least changed the design elements! I mean, c’mon!

More after the jump…

Read More

Categories: Blogger News, Microblogging

Plurk Opens API to Developers


Plurk, one of the top micro-blogging services, has just opened up its API to developers!

Yep, you heard it right! Plurk’s official blog, Plurk Labs, announced the news today with much excitement.

As Plurk grows, the demand for different set of tools, applications or features to complement our product has also increased. While some of those requests are later added into our social platform, we fully aware it would be impossible for us to implement everything by ourselves. Our users love Plurk passionately and we love them back just as much. So if someone’s mom wants to read her Plurks from her kitchen microwave, she should be able to (provided someone else already wrote such application using our API).

For all those people scratching there heads on what API is, here’s a quick explanation: API means Application Programming Interface. By opening up Plurk’s API, developers can be able to make applications that can use Plurk’s features, data, etc.

Imagine what people could do with Plurk now its API is open. How about the ability to embed our plurk timelines on our blogs? That would be sweet!

Interested developers can head on over to for the full documentation.

Categories: Microblogging

The Dying Art of Live Blogging

No one is questioning the speed of technology today– what may be innovative today may be junk tomorrow (or worse,  junk by lunch time. ) Blogging is no exception.

One of the impending casualties of the blogging space obsolescence is live blogging. Yeah, there was a time when people blogged real-time in their respective blogs and kept updating one single post in rapid succession to cover an event. A couple of years ago, as blogs were slowly gaining prominence, live blogging was the apex of covering an event live via blogging.

But due to the emergence of microblogging and platforms such as Twitter and Plurk, live blogging is on its way to extinction. Microblogging is fast and automatic, making the process of constantly updating a blog post cumbersome and clunky. Add to that the proliferation of third-party sites and apps that support micro-blogging, live blogging can be officially be considered a dying art.

But before we say “good riddance” to live blogging,  I believe it can still have a place in the blogging ecosystem. Remember that one key limitation of microblogging is the number of characters (e.g. Twitter’s 140 character limit). Live blogging is essentially free from this constraint. Another is the multimedia aspect of live blogging, such as the ability to post audio and video streams into a blog post.

Live blogging may not be hottest thing right now, but I believe it still has a use in specific situations to keep it from becoming completely obsolete.

UPDATE: Nah, I change my mind. Live blogging is dead.

Categories: Blogging Sense, Microblogging
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Market your blog efficiently with Tweet Whistle

You can do all of the hard work researching topics and writing content for your blog but all of your hard work is worthless if no one will actually visit your blog and read your well thought out posts.

All blog owners should not only improve their writing and research skills, they should also develop their internet marketing skills. They should learn how to market their blogs so that they can entice people to visit their blog and continue reading the posts they make. A properly marketed blog is also a great source of income. Imagine getting more money from the ads that you put in your blog? That’s a benefit I’d love to get from my blogs.

The problem is that internet marketing is a subject that intimidates a lot of people. Personally, I don’t think that this should be a source of fear. Internet marketing is not really that hard especially if you have the tools to help make things easier for you. For example, Twitter is quite easy to use. The popular microblogging platform is now widely used as an internet marketing tool. Its popularity makes it an obvious choice to implement marketing efforts because of the number of people that can be reached by the marketing message. Because of its effectiveness as a marketing tool, it’s also a natural progression that independent tools are developed to further mine the capabilities of Twitter.

Tweet Whistle | Twitter Marketing Solution | FAQ_1254239014763Tweet Whistle is one of these tools that have unleashed the power of Twitter. Tweet Whistle is a marketing tool that allows you to market your blog in Twitter more easily by automating Twitter’s functions. With this application you can automatically target followers and even automate your Twitter posts. What’s more, Tweet Whistle is the most affordable Twitter marketing application you will find on the net. You can see for yourself how useful Tweet Whistle is by trying the trial demo, which you can download at

But if you want the opportunity of using the full version of Tweet Whistle for free, you can join Tweet Whistle’s contest, wherein the winner will get a licensed copy of Tweet Whistle and a $25 cash prize to be paid through PayPal. To join the contest just do the following:
1.    Follow @thetoolsmith on Twitter

2.    Just tweet the message below:

Just enter to win $25.00 and a free copy of “Tweet Whistle” Just follow @thetoolsmith and Retweet

Categories: Blog Software, Blogging Tools, Microblogging
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Follow Nearly Every Automattic Employee on Twitter

First off, I wanted to say, “when did Automattic become such a big company?” I remember looking at their employee list, and seeing a dozen names, and it has ballooned much larger since then, but thankfully, even though many of them don’t blog consistently, they keep a strong presence on Twitter.

Raanan Bar-Cohen – Media Engineer
Ryan Boren – Engineer
Sam Bauers – Coderoo
Anthony Bubel – Happiness Engineer
Lloyd Budd – Digital Entomologist
Jon Fox – Title Pending
Noel Jackson – Stylist
Isaac Keyet – Design Junkie
Marianne Masculino – Happiness Engineer
Nick Momrik – Happiness Engineer
Matt Mullenweg – CBBQTT
Donncha O Caoimh – Murphy’s Quality Control
Thorsten Ott – Bug Zapper
Andy Peatling – Social Engineer
Michael Pick – Lightbulb Engineer
Warwick Poole – Systemologist
Heather Rasley – The Deputy
Mark Riley – Support Maven
Joseph Scott – Bug Exorcist
Alex Shiels – Code Bloke
Andy Skelton – Code Wrangler
Matt Thomas – The Detailer
Jane Wells – Libation Engineer

Of course there are about four or so missing from this list, as they don’t seem to have a Twitter account I can easily find, and this list doesn’t even include the project focused Twitter accounts or other accounts related to these people. This is just their primary Twitter accounts, so if you have wanted to follow them, now you can.

Categories: Microblogging, WordPress News

Integrating Twitter into Your Blog

NETTuts has recently put out an article relating to integrating Twitter on your website. Since blogs are a type of website, I figured now would be a good time to go over some WordPress plugins that help integrate Twitter into your blog.

There are three sets of plugins, ones that display your Twitter messages on your blog, ones that allow you to push out notifications of your blog posts to Twitter and ones that create other interactions with Twitter.

Displaying Tweets

LifeStream – I use this plugin on what “should” be my company site, Digital Life News and I enjoy it. Fairly full featured, and backed by a close friend of mine.

Lifestream displays your social feeds and photos much like you would see it on many of the social networking sites.

Twitter for WordPress – I haven’t used this plugin, but I can see why it is popular. It shows your latest tweets in your sidebar.

Twitter Tools – Everyone knows Alex King is an amazing plugin developer, and so his Twitter Tools suite is no exception. It fits into both categories, allowing you to display your tweets on your blog, as well as pushing out blog post information to Twitter.

My favourite piece from his FAQ on the plugin:

What happens if I have both my tweets posting to my blog as posts and my posts sent to Twitter? Will it cause the world to end in a spinning fireball of death?

Actually, Twitter Tools has taken this into account and you can safely enable both creating posts from your tweets and tweets from your posts without duplicating them in either place.

MyTwitter – Another simple plugin to see your Twitter messages on your blog.

MyTwitter allows users to display their recent Twitter status updates (tweets) on their WordPress site and update their status through the Options page. Includes customization options including number of recent twitters to display, formatting options, and stylesheets. It can be called as a function or used as a widget.

Twitter Feed – Looking a lot like your Twitter page, Twitter Feed is a nice widget for displaying recent tweets. It looks well featured, and highly configurable. An exciting way to display interactions with Twitter.

Pushing Blog Posts to Twitter

Twitme – If all you want is to push your blog post links to your Twitter friends and followers, Twitme should do that just fine. Last updated only two weeks ago, this plugin is still in constant development.

Twitpress – In the same vein as Twitme, Twitpress also takes blog posts, and automatically pushes information about them to your Twitter account.

Bird Feeder – Yet another blog post to Twitter plugin. This one was also recently updated, and is focused on fulfilling its single function as quickly, and as easily as possible.

WP to Twitter – This is the plugin I generally use to feed my blog posts to Twitter, and it has always worked quite well for me.

The WP-to-Twitter plugin posts a Twitter status update from your blog using the URL shortening service to provide a link back to your post from Twitter.

Other Interactions with Twitter

Tweetbacks – Created by a good friend, Joost de Valk, Tweetbacks brings responses to your posts on Twitter, back into your blog.

People are talking about your posts, and not only in the comments to your post. A lot of that conversation is happening on Twitter, and now, you can take that conversation right back to your blog! This plugin imports those tweets about your posts as comments. You can display them in between the other comments on your blog, or display them separately.

Tweet Tweet – One of the better known WordPress related figures, Donncha O Caoimh has created a plugin to back up your Twitter messages.

This plugin archives your tweets, and the tweets of those you follow in your database. It also stores replies from other people, as well as direct messages.

TwitterCounter – Much like people show off their RSS feed subscribers in a little “chicklet” box, this plugin allows you to show off the number of Twitter followers you have. Created by Ajay D’Souza and Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten.

TweetRoll – Much like a blogroll, or those friend boxes from various blogging communities, TweetRoll displays some of your followers in a fancy widget that will hopefully increase your subscribers and give attention to those you follow.

These of course, are but a few of the hundreds of WordPress plugins available to bloggers to interact with Twitter in different ways. There are services, full scripts, and more that can be utilized to closer tie your blogging and Twitter together.

What are your favourite Twitter related WordPress plugins?

Categories: Microblogging, WordPress Plugins

Twitter Phishing Scam: Watch Out!


If you guys get a Twitter direct message with a link, when clicked, brings you to a page that looks like Twitter and asks for your login details, do not login on that page.

Twitter is the latest target of a “phishing” campaign — an attempt by hackers to gather usernames and passwords through deceptive means. This particular scam sent out emails resembling those you might receive from Twitter if you get email notifications of your Direct Messages.

And lots of people have fallen victim to this scam already. Even Fox News, President-elect Obama, and Britney Spears were not spared.

Okay, I have to admit that I laughed when the hacked FoxNews made a quip about Bill O’Reilly’s sexuality, or when Britney Spears announced something about the size of her privates, but this is a serious problem here.

The Twitter blog offered some ways to recover your account if you have fallen victim to this trick:

…If you find yourself unable to login to your account with your username and password, please use the reset password link to regain access. This will send an email to the address associated with your account and you’ll be able to create a new password.

If you don’t receive the reset password email, please check your junk or spam email folder as it may be accidentally delivered there. If you are still having trouble logging in, please contact our support team and we’ll help you out.

So people, be careful about your DMs, and keep those accounts safe!

Categories: Microblogging

Update Your Twitter, Doogie-Style

If you’re young enough to have watched the hit 80’s TV show Doogie Howser, M.D., then you must remember the scene at the end of each episode. Doogie Howser, played by Neal Patrick Harris, would go to his ancient IBM PS/2 and write his reflections there. In fact, it has been jokingly said that he was the first blogger.

Doogie Howser M.D.

Now you can do a Doogie Howser and ramble with your daily thoughts with a simulated IBM PS/2 interface! Go to Twoogie to channel his prodigious wit into your own twitter-feeds. Read More

Categories: Microblogging

Pownce Joining Six Apart, Closing

Microblogging service Pownce, once touted as Twitter’s heir apparent, is closing down on December 15. The Pownce team has joined SixApart, and they will be bringing their technology with them. The team is now working on an export tool that will let users transfer their posts to other blogging services such as Vox, TypePad, or WordPress. Leah Culver writes on the Pownce blog:

We?re very happy that Six Apart wants to invest in growing the vision that we the founders of Pownce believe so strongly in and we?re very excited to take our vision to all of Six Apart?s products. Mike and I have joined Six Apart as part of their engineering team and we?re looking forward to being a part of the talented group that has created amazing tools for blogging and publishing.

Even though they will be coming up with an export tool soon, those who paid for Pro accounts have been told that they will be emailed soon with more information. On the Six Apart blog though, they’ve announced that Pownce Pro users will get a year’s TypePad pro account for free. As for the Pownce team, they seem to have settled into Vox. Leah Culver and Mike Malone has made Vox their new home. So Pownce is closing, Leah and Mike are joining Vox, but will the community join in? Six Apart hopes so. What’s your take? Leave your opinion in the comments.

Categories: Microblogging