Google+ vs Identi.ca

I’ve been a member on Identi.ca – the open source microblogging platform, for 3 years now.  I’ve amassed 166 subscribers, and subscribe to 130 people there.

I’ve been on Google+ for a week now.  In both “in my circles” and “I’m in their circles”, I’ve got almost exactly 2x what I’ve gathered from Identi.ca in 3 years.  My “Linux” circle alone has nearly 200, more than everyone I converse with on Identi.ca, even though nearly all my identi.ca friends are members in identi.ca’s target audience -  the Linux & Open Source community.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am an ardent fan of open source software, and the open source development model. Evan Prodromo and the folks at status.net have done a great job.  However, using the “go where the users are” yardstick, I think they’re coming up short.  At a blogging conference in Austin a few months ago, I made the point of asking every analytical software vendor there – folks like Radian6, when they planned to add status.net / identi.ca support into their platforms.  By my count, I was the only one in the room that had even heard of them.

Google, Status.net and other key contributors to the OpenSocial Foundation  serve a key role – building open specifications and APIs to be able to exchange data across social networking sites.  I hope the forthcoming promised Google+ APIs will be based on OpenSocial, which will give both credibility and teeth to the effort, and will encourage the more open sharing of our content across multiple social sites.  I expect integration between Google+ and Identi.ca will be a first fruit.