Why You Should Pownce on Rejaw

Image representing Pownce as depicted in Crunc...
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Six Apart recently purchased Pownce, shut it down, and scrapped it for parts. Their blog says Welcome Pownce Team, so the users of the Pownce service need to find another place to be accepted. The Pownce service will officially shut down on December 15th, according to The Pownce Blog.

It’s very unfortunate that Pownce users are being left out in the cold, but I offer a solution: Rejaw. There are a million micro-blogging alternatives out there. Let’s review:

  • Twitter – No videos, no photos, no audio, no media at all, period. No threaded conversation.
  • Identi.ca – Same issues as Twitter. It’s just not anywhere near what Pownce is.
  • FriendFeed – A truly awesome service. My home on the web. You can import all types of media, but it will usually only display if imported via RSS. Some people have also found FriendFeed to be a bit overwhelming at first glance.

What is Rejaw?

Rejaw is a new way to communicate in real-time with friends, family, and co-workers. You can shout messages to your followers, or whisper to your friends. Monologue or dialogue, micro-blog or status update, soliloquy or dialectic – how you use Rejaw is up to you.

You can also add links to images and audio within your shouts and they can be automatically embedded within your message. Threads build around each item or Shout posted. The interface updates automatically via AJAX, always showing you the most active discussions. The Whisper feature allows you to send private messages to individuals and groups.

Rejaw Tools

The Rejaw web interface is also the primary client. It provides you access to all features and updates in real time. There are also other tools available to access Rejaw:

Rejaw Radar

Rejaw Radar is a desktop application for Mac that keeps you up-to-date with the latest shouts, whispers and replies on Rejaw.

Rejaw for iPhone

Rejaw for iPhone is a simple, fast iPhone client that allows you to keep up-to-date with the latest shouts, whispers and replies on Rejaw.

There is also a Google Gadget, a Firefox Plugin and more available on Rejaw tools page.

You Can’t Lose

Maybe you lost a good service and I’m sure there isn’t a true replacement out there, but Rejaw may be an excellent substitute. Check it out. You can use it to send stuff to your friends. If you’re looking for people to follow, most of these guys rock.

Rejaw would also like to offer some support in making sure you retain your data from Pownce:

We would like to support Pownce import- if you have a Pownce export file, and you want to help us out, please forward it to support [at] rejaw.com, so that we can decipher the file format. Thanks! –(original shout)

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How I Keep Up With Identi.ca, FriendFeed, Twitter, Kwippy, and Rejaw

This is quick video showing how I keep track of multiple micro-blogging services using Pidgin, Launchy, and Ping.fm. I basically send everything via Ping.fm and recieve everything via IM.

One thing I forgot to mention here is that I can also “post” to Twitter from TwitterSpy (which I mentioned in a previous post).

How I Keep Up With the Micro-Blogosphere–>

Cross-Posting Etiquette: A Few Ways To Stay Connected

Everywhere At Once

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Ok, now that we understand the evils of posting across multiple services, let’s talk about the basic ways we can go about keeping track of these services.

The main issue with cross-posting using services like Ping.fm and Hellotxt is that you’re not actually engaging with people, you’re just using their time-line as your own personal billboard. I’m pretty sure this is detrimental to your personal brand.

If you don’t care about your personal brand, let’s just say it makes you look like a total noob.

There are 3 simple ways that you can interact with a micro-blogging service short of visiting the website. There may be other ways, but I choose these because I actually use most of them on a daily basis.

Instant Messaging

Identi.ca has full IM support

You can send and receive all your updates via IM. Simply login to http://identi.ca and go to Settings->IM, then follow the directions.

Kwippy provides alerts via IM

Kwippy will IM you when you recieve new comments, private message and various other things you might want to know. To set it up, login to Kwippy and visit your dashboard. The first thing you see should be the instructions for activating IM support.

TwitterSpy pretty much replaces Twitter’s IM functionality

Twitter is currently working feverishly to restore IM functionality. They also plan to implement a monetization strategy, completely fix the spam problem, and bring about peace in the middle east. Until their work is complete, you can use TwitterSpy.

Simply add ‘twitterspy@jabber.org’ to your GTalk buddy list. Typing “help” will give you a list of commands. Don’t worry about all that right now:

  • track @<username> (this will make sure you get your @replies)
  • twlogin <username> <password> (this logs you into twitter)
  • post <message> (now you can post to Twitter via IM….again)

For those who miss the “track” feature on Twitter: “help track”. (more info on TwitterSpy).


Most services allow you to receive basic notices via email. Identi.ca does allow posting via email, but I don’t see a method to receive updates on any of the micro-blogging services I’m actually using.

That is not to say this isn’t possible. There are various hacks and services you could use such as TwitterMail and this one.  Those work (I guess) for Twitter. I’m pretty sure you could do something similar with Identi.ca. As for the others, I’m not sure.


Identi.ca supports SMS via Email

This means that you can receive your updates if your carrier has an Email<->SMS gateway. Most do. Just check the settings to see if your carrier is listed.

Twitter has full SMS support

I know this may come as a shock, but Twitter actually has SMS support. I believe it works pretty good. You should check it out.


Earlier, I read an account of one user’s Ping.fm usage and he brought an important point to light. I think the majority of issues come from mobile users.

It’s easy as hell to “Ping” from your phone. Ping.fm provides an interface for mobile phones and a specialized interface for iPhones.

Why is this a problem? Well, the cards are stacked against us! Ping.fm can already post to just about any service you can think of, then they support new services almost as soon as they’re released.

These micro-blogging services haven’t even had a chance to provide mobile users with a way to access their updates. So, we have a bunch of people running around Ping.fm’ing the crap out of us with no way to monitor our replies without actually visiting 4 or 5 different websites from their phone.

Bottom line is, it’s still your responsibility to be aware of your actions. Just because you’re holding a hammer, doesn’t mean everything is a nail. You know you’re not very active on certain services, so stop broadcasting to them.

If you are hell bent on trying to talk to everyone at once, you need to be just as passionate about being able to listen to everyone at once.

Cross-Posting Etiquette: The Evils of Ping.fm and HelloTxt

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A little while ago, I did a post on using Ping.fm without spamming FriendFeed. This was followed up with a post by Andy DeSoto, where he talks about whether this Ping.fm cross-posting is saving time at the expense of others. Now, I know there are a lot of people in the social media community who are against etiquette and I totally understand where they are coming from. The problem is there are some things that you can do that make you look like a very bad and inconsiderate person.

There are people that I am really interested in following. I want to be aware of things going on with them. That’s why I follow them. I hate to see these people tarnish their image by abusing community technology tools. Social media is about being social. You have to listen as well as talk. Services like Ping.fm and HelloTxt are very powerful and can cause a lot of damage to this interaction in the wrong hands.

Using an ‘@’ symbol in Ping.fm

Are you serious? As Andy pointed out in his post, the ‘@’ is pretty specific to Twitter replies and doesn’t really translate to other services. Even in the rare case where you might be talking to a person who actually exists on two or more different services, why would you ‘@’ them on all of them? I don’t need to see your Twitter ‘@’ replies on Identi.ca. The person you’re talking to don’t live here and nobody can piece together what you’re talking about.

Your follower count is 0, Zero, Zilch

Are you broadcasting to a service where you are following 0? Nobody? Nadie? Why would you do this? I know I’m new here and all, but having a large number of followers and a low (nonexistant?) number of people you’re following is the mark of a spammer. I understand that you may not be active on every service, but come on. You didn’t even try. People may be interested in what you broadcast and then totally reversed once they see you are not listening.

You Never Check Your Updates

Have you ever received a call from an automated message? Annoying, isn’t it? If you are not available to speak to me live, why the hell did you call? I figure that most of us use Social Media to connect with others, but how are you doing this effectively if you don’t even respond when people try to engage with you? When you broadcast to a service, people expect that you are actually there. You are available for discourse. When you don’t respond, that leaves people with a bad impression.

Step Your Game Up

We can’t all be on every service all the time. It’s just not possible unless you’re a robot or you have some slick software yet to be released (I can haz beta key, please?). You have to set realistic goals for interacting with the community. It’s fine if you want to jump on every new service that comes out. Go ahead, play around with it. That’s what we do, right? Here are some basic guidelines to help you out:

  • Do not plug every service you have an account with into Ping.fm or HelloTxt just because
  • Do not make Ping.fm your primary method for using Twitter or any other specific service
  • Do not ever use Ping.fm to send an @reply. Period.
  • If you are not going to check a specific site at least once or twice a day, don’t broadcast there

Think about a person you would just love to have a discussion with. You have followed there blog or maybe heard them speak on a podcast. You would really like to get into this person’s head and here they are right in front of you! The problem is, no matter what you do to get their attention, they ignore you. They have a megaphone in hand and they are shouting at someone you can’t even see. Other people nearby are looking at this person like they’re crazy. Now, turn things around. Are you the nut job with the megaphone?

Stay Tuned

This post is not aimed at anyone in particular. I just felt compelled to share because I really hate running into situations where very interesting and intelligent people are misusing these services and probably don’t even know it. I took Plurk out of Ping.fm because I never go there. I dislike it immensely, so it would be wrong to continuously post there. Be considerate of others. This is a community, after all.

Far be it from me to call someone ashy without being able to provide a little lotion. There are many ways that you can make your life easier in keeping track of all these different micro-blogging services. I plan to share them with you at a later date, but this post has become entirely too long and I got updates to check.

Get the next installment here: Being Everywhere At Once

Ping.fm: Updating Your Social Networks Without Spamming FriendFeed

Ping.fm is a service that allows you to send out updates of various types (status updates, blogs, micro-blogs) to multiple social networks. I have been using it for some time and my results have been mostly positive. This is not a tutorial on how to use it. After seeing the topic on numerous occasions (here, there, everywhere) and reading DeSoto’s “Must blogging be a balancing act?“, I decided to share my Ping.fm strategy to see what others think.


This is all about increasing my social networking influence. I want to interact with a diverse selection of people because I have diverse interests. Ping.fm allows me to keep all these different groups updated with whatever is going on with me. I can share new music I create, content I’ve written, whatever I choose and I can share it across multiple social networks. I want to learn from others and get their feedback on what I’m doing.

Updating all of your social networks from one place is definitely a time-saver, but it could also have the community thinking you are a spamming moron if done incorrectly. For instance, Most of the services supported by PIng.fm are also supported by FriendFeed, so you could potentially send one update and have it show up several times. This is usually not desirable. I say “usually” because some FF users actually advocate turning everything up to full blast and allowing the user to filter accordingly.

That solution is less than ideal for me. I really don’t want anyone to Hide any of my FriendFeed services because I haven’t really figured out how I’m going to organize them yet. I may duplicate content now, but that may very well change in the near future. So, I decided to devise an updating scheme that allows me room for more flexibility.


Before we get into those details, it’s important to understand how each Ping.fm update type shows up on each social networking service you subscribe to, so here is a table describing a few:

Ping.fm Update Type Bebo Facebook Hi5 Identi.ca
Statuses Changes Status Scraps Dent
Blogs Blog n/a Blog n/a
Micro-Blogs n/a Status n/a Dent
Ping.fm Update Type LiveJournal MySpace Tumblr Twitter Xanga
Statuses Blog Status Blog Tweet Pulse
Blogs Blog Blog Blog n/a Blog
Micro-Blogs Blog n/a Blog Tweet Pulse

Yeah, I have Bebo, MySpace, and Hi5. Big Whoop. Wanna fight about it?

Using Ping.fm, I can actually stay active on networks that I don’t really visit any more than once a week. Here is how I decided to break everything down:

  • I will post full, original content here at SheenOnline. I will also post more personal or off-topic content on LiveJournal and/or Xanga. I haven’t really figured out how this will work yet.
  • The social networking sites that provide a blog service will get excerpts and links back to whichever blog has my full article. I also would like to send excerpts to LJ and Xanga which link to my posts at SheenOnline.
  • Obviously, Identi.ca and Twitter both get my statuses, but I’m mainly only watching for responses on Identi.ca at this point.
  • I have no idea what I’m going to do with Tumblr. I’m thinking I want to pipe everything I write online to Tumblr, but I haven’t researched how much of a pain that would be.

Now that we have a basic (hah!) Ping.fm strategy, how will this fit into FriendFeed? If I were to pipe all this directly in, I would post a total of around 4 items anytime I made a blog post and I don’t think my followers would appreciate that very much. Also, I don’t want any of my services to get hidden.

Services that post to FriendFeed:

  • Identi.ca – Center of my micro-blogging world 🙂
  • LiveJournal – “Personal” blog
  • SheenOnline – Primary blog

Services that didn’t make the cut:

  • Twitter – This would just end up being a duplicate, I rarely post here directly
  • Xanga – Not sure what will go here yet. Possibly nothing 🙂
  • Tumblr – This may end up aggregating just about everything, so definitely not needed for FF

Caveats and Notes

One of the main points of all this is to be able to link everything back to my primary blog here at SheenOnline. Here are the details I found out as far as linking and HTML go:

  • Bebo will make a link clickable automatically
  • Facebook does appear to convert a link properly for statuses
  • Hi5 handles HTML weird. I haven’t figured out reliably how it handles links
  • Identi.ca and Twitter handle links just fine (duh?)
  • LiveJournal converts your links
  • Myspace will convert your links and handles HTML
  • Xanga will handle HTML links

In order to explicitly create a blog post, you can either go to the Ping.fm website, or you can send the content via email (Settings->Edit Profile to find your posting address). By default, Ping.fm sends out a status message, so your email should be of the form:

  • @b <title>^<body>


Please keep in mind, this is not a step-by-step guide that you should follow. I am simply posting this to describe my thought processes surrounding how I leverage Ping.fm to maintain my online presence. Maybe you don’t subscribe to some of the stuff I do and you’re not trying to balance eleventeen blogs.

In a future post, I will talk about drinking from the firehose or “playing in the stream” as J. Phil puts it. If your efforts at connecting with others actually pan out, you will have a lot of incoming data to deal with.

How do you use Ping.fm? Do you use a different service for this? Tell me about it.