Despite my best intentions and my inner voice crying out "microblogging is stupid!", I've been slowly sucked into it. It started innocently enough with the Facebook status. Then I joined the party over at Twitter just to see what all the hubbub was about. When I learned about, I decided to check that out a couple days ago (more and more people are joining there now).

The problem, of course, is that not everyone is on the same social network. And you might not want to be on any of the social networks that I'm on. Or you might not trust any of those companies. Enter serves as a central point for me to blast out my navel-gazing, mind-numbingly boring status updates to a variety of services (all of the ones mentioned above and more like Plurk, MySpace, Pownce, LinkedIn, Tumblr). This means when I make a status update at, it gets fanned out to all the sites I've ping-enabled (of course I have to give them credentials for each site).

All of this is great but not totally innovative, it's just another layer of madness above the existing, silo'ed madness. And it doesn't solve the fragmented two-way conversation problem (replies on Twitter stay on Twitter, etc). But what caught my eye this evening was the ability to fan my updates to custom URLs. This means I can set up a PHP page on my own website and will send the status updates to that page also. This opens up some interesting possibilities.

So I did just that. I now have a microblog/status feed on this site if anyone cares when I brushed my teeth or if I'm late for a train. Be the first to know!

How it works: I use to post my status and it is fanned out automatically to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and codedread's custom PHP. That PHP takes the status and adds it to a static Atom file on my site.

So now that I've got a microblog feed that's disentangled from any one particular social network, I'll probably add some code to my site to display the latest status from my microblog feed somewhere.

Oh and if you don't like the funky character in the URL then you can also use this one. They both point to the same location.

One request to Please support OpenID!

§474 · July 10, 2008 · PHP, Software, Technology, Web · Tags: , , , , · [Print]

Leave a Comment to “Microblogging Floo-Flah”

  1. P.S. To get a URL likeμ (mu, U+03BC)

    you can add the following to your web server’s .htaccess:

    RewriteEngine on

    RewriteRule ^μ$

  2. Sam Ruby says:

    The feed is not valid. s/span/div/.

  3. Mauriat says:

    No, not you too.

  4. @Sam: Thanks, fixed!

    @Mauriat: Sad. I know.

  5. UPDATE: I wrote a quickie PHP program to return the HTML fragment of the latest status, then I styled it in an HTML document. I’ve linked to this in a couple places on my site now.