On OraTweet and OpenSocial

So, Noel Portugal is at it again.

He has expanded his pet project, OraTweet, to include OraTweetBot, which he says is:

. . . an XMPP/Jabber bot built with Java that will listen for tweets and post them to Twitter or to a database.

I never use the XMPP/IM Twitter integration, but I know it’s more popular than any client out there. And I know it’s been super flakey for months, even by Twitter standards. Well, apparently, Noel’s OraTweetBot can take its place.

But wait, there’s more. You can hook OraTweetBot to your database, and have it post to Twitter, basically your automating tweets. Noel goes on to say:

The big advantage of this is that you can actually map twitter users to a users table on the db and send on their behalf.

Hmm. I guess if you’re using the bot as a buffer for Twitter, i.e. posting in batch in case Twitter has taken a nap. Posting tweets on people’s behalf seems a bit odd, but I assume he means proxying people’s tweets and not impersonating them 🙂

Anyway, very cool stuff. This is another APEX community contribution, at least OraTweet is, and Noel is an APEX guy. Those APEX people are having a big week.

So, nobody said boo when I talked about OpenSocial earlier this week, but here’s another reason OpenSocial is going to kick ass when we get it deployed. Noel originally approached me to find a home for OraTweet, ideally on Connect, but it’s written in APEX. Connect is JRuby, so we couldn’t really make it work.

Plus, not that many people have Twitter accounts; have a seat, it’s true. So, adding a Twitter client to the platform wouldn’t appeal to that many of our users.

With OpenSocial, Noel can create OraTweet as an app. OpenSocial is language agnostic, so OraTweet doesn’t need to be rewritten. People add apps they want to use, so there’s no impact to the platform. And bonus, all the data for OraTweet stay on Noel’s servers.

This is why OpenSocial makes sense for us. It allows developers to leverage our network and the social effects of it to spread their apps, and it allows them to develop in their language of choice on their own hardware.

Everybody wins.

I noticed David and Frank chimed in on Noel’s OraTweet post asking him for the URL to test it out; as an OpenSocial app, if I installed OraTweet, my Activity Log would show this. David and Frank and all my other contacts would see this. The Twitter users in my contacts would probably be interested to test out OraTweet.

This is the network effect, much more efficient than asynchronous commenting/replying or using email to spread your app.

OpenSocial is the future for our platform. We can’t possibly build all the enhancements people want into the platform, and frankly, this doesn’t make sense. OpenSocial lets other teams add the enhancements they want, leveraging their development skills.

We’re hoping to get all the container, architecture and UI work done sometime in late Fall. We plan to deploy to Connect first, work out the kinks, then move it to Mix.

What do you think? Are you totally geeked out of your mind? Doubtful. Leave a comment anyway. Everyone has an opinion.




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