Mission 4: desktop microblogging client (Choqok)

I wrote earlier about creating an account on identi.ca, the open Twitter alternative. I like using identi.ca but most of the people I know (or whose micro-posts I’m interested in reading) use Twitter. I wanted to merge my twitter feed into my identi.ca feed, so I could switch to non-Twitter-centric microblogging without missing anything, but I couldn’t get this to work on the identi.ca website.

In my search for a solution encountered an idea that’s so old it must surely be on the verge of developing some sort of retro coolness by now: using actual desktop applications instead of doing everything in the web browser. I use Ubuntu, so I had quite a few microblogging clients to choose from. I tried Choqok, Gwibber, Hotot, and Turpial. The results:

– I couldn’t get Gwibber to connect to my Twitter account.

– Hotot and Turpial both only connect to one account – so I could look at either my Twitter or my identi.ca, but not both. With Hotot you can open as many instances as you want, and look at mulptiple accounts that way, but I found that annoying in terms of useability and it cluttered up my desktop.

– Choqok wins: it’s the simplest to set up and use, and it shows me two tabs, one with my Twitter stream and one with my identi.ca. This makes me feel mighty, like: BEHOLD MY VAST MICROBLOGGING EMPIRE, ALL THE STREAMS ARE MINE TO CONTROL!! The interface isn’t very pretty, but Choqok is the best in terms of useability.

Mission status: SUCCESS

Mission phase 1: from twitter to identi.ca

I thought it would be simple:

1. Set up an identi.ca account.

2. Syndicate all my identi.ca posts to twitter, so my twitter-using friends can see them.

3. Send the twitter feeds I follow to identi.ca.

4. Never have to go to twitter.com again, since I can use identi.ca instead without missing anything.

Step 1 was easy enough. The identi.ca website is a little crowded and confusing. On identi.ca the main page displays a mega-feed of EVERYONE’s posts, and to see just the people you follow you have to select HOME in the top left.

To do step 2 I clicked SETTINGS at the top right, then TWITTER (bottom of the left menu) and connected my account. And my posts to identi.ca automatically get sent to my Twitter account. Joy!

Step 3 was not so straightforward though. I’m pretty sure I SHOULD be able to go to SETTINGS -> MIRRORING to add my twitter feeds to my identi.ca stream, but it doesn’t work.

So what I ended up doing is posting stuff to identi.ca but reading stuff in twitter.com, which is basically really silly and doesn’t at all accomplish the goal of not being on twitter.

Mission outcome: FAILURE

But I’ll be back.