How to fix Twitter
May 21, 2008, 11:53 am
Filed under: twitter | Tags: ,

Looks like Twitter dropped a bollock the other day, the site was down for the whole day when a db upgrade went a little wonky. Everyone seems to be dreaming up weird and wonderful replacements and backups for Twitter, but there’s already a very suitable one that lots of people have long forgotten about. It’s called IRC.

The two main features of Twitter are following people and sending private messages. If you imagine every user having their own channel, set to +m so that only the op (or others with +v) could send messages. Setting +n to stop outside messages would probably be a good idea too. You could also implement groups by giving multiple people +v in a channel.

Private messages are easy with IRC’s /msg command, but could be open to spam, a little modification to IRC servers would only allow people who’s room you are in can send you private messages.

There are plenty of libraries available to implement those pretty clients like Twitteriffic or Twhirl or you could use a more traditional client if you prefer, but using IRC in this manner would probably be better with a dedicated client, or a web interface.

So there you go, anyone want to pick tis up and run with it?

Many thanks to AndyD for the channel modes ;-)


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The problem is getting the people to use it. I use Twitter because everyone else does. Twitter isn’t the best, Jaiku and Pownce all do the same thing and are more stable, but everyone I know is on Twitter.

When everyone moves from Twitter, I will too.

Comment by Sam Clark

@Sam You’re spot on with that, when Twitter’s down, it’s exactly the tool you need to tell everyone you’re using Jaiku/Pownce instead.

Comment by Stuart Grimshaw

And how does that get pushed to my phone? Because that is Twitter’s main feature.

Comment by Warren Ellis

Good question Warren, but hardly a show stopper, it’s not hard to imagine extending one of the common service “bots” that most networks have, register your phone with them and bingo, you can have your messages, it could also easily work in reverse.

Comment by Stuart Grimshaw

I wasn’t trying to throw a show-stopper at you, I genuinely wanted to know.

Comment by Warren Ellis

I understand Warren, Email, Comments, even Twitter all suffer from the fact that it’s very hard to tell the tone of voice the commenter intended when they made their comment. That’s why I tend to take any comment as well intentioned, unless it contains swear words or questions my parentage ;-)

Comment by Stuart Grimshaw

I’ve been playing around with a web server running on my phone lately, if it catches on, i.e. running a web server on your mobile phone, I think you have a replacement for twitter right there. I made a couple of posts about it on my blog earlier this week.


Comment by Rob

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