My centralised status updates

November 29th, 2007 by Alistair MacDonald Leave a reply »

I have just linked together some PHP code that allows me to update my Twitter, Jaiku and Facebook status messages from just one screen.

Originally I did not get Twitter and only updated my status when I posted something on my blog, but as I started to read what my friends were doing it kind of clicked and I started using it properly. Later I started the save on Facebook where I have other friends, but this started the annoyance of using two services to do one thing.

Before this I was using Twitter to update my Facebook status via the Twitter Facebook application. Originally this was far from ideal as it could not change the real status message, and once that was fixed it started to put an “is Twittering: ” prefix that was rather annoying. I also keep my status updates for friends only and that prevented me propagating the changes to Jaiku.

My solution was to use the various APIs to to create a service that updates all of these services from one web page. The Twitter API was the easiest, although I don’t much like having my Twitter password stored on the web server and will be changing it regularly now. Jaiku would have been just as easy but I used Jon Kossmann‘s PHP neat little library to save me the effort. Originally I started by trying to use Steve Marshal‘s code to update Facebook, but my server was having none of it, so after a lot of playing with the Facebook API I managed to get my own solution working by creating a Facebook application.

So what next? I intend to add a location field that will update Jaiku and Fire Eagle. I also want to update Pownce when the API is available, and also intend to show a summery of Twitter updates from friends. I am also looking at a visual authentication procedure that will be more secure on public terminals, and possibly turning this in to an OpenID server for me in the field.

Will I make it public? Well, it will take a little time to create a a public service and I am not planning on doing this. That being said please let me know if you wan to do this and I may change my mind.

Update: A quick update following some checking on possible message lengths. Twitter uses 140 characters (but 160 can be posted), Jaiku accepts 140 and Facebook 160.

Update: I have just added support for Pownce. Currently it does not message all users, just those who ask to be added to the set.


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