Mobile mashing with status messages

Something struck me the other day – and it wasn’t a bus or a large object falling from the sky. There’s an increasing number of sites that ask you ‘what are you doing’, and update your presence on the web, via SMS, send an IM, or an email, or any number of options.

If, like me, you’ve got a few of these sites and services on the go, it’s rather a chore to keep going round and updating them all. I use Ecademy, Facebook, Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce – and they’ve all got various types of status options. There are already some mash-ups out there that link some of these – for example the Twitter Facebook plugin. However, I wanted the choice to be able to update my status on any of these sites and have it automatically propogate to the rest.

A little PHP hacking with XML, RSS, JSON and some other interesting bodges later, and I’ve rustled up a connector that brings all these sites together. It basically polls all the status sources, works out which one I last updated, and pushes that status to the other sites that are out of date.

When I’m in front of my PC, I’m likely to have Facebook or Ecademy running in the background, so it’s easier to change my status on there. However when I’m out and about, my application of choice is Jaiku. I find it easier to use than Twitter, and cheaper too – if I used Twitter via SMS it’d cost me 24p a go (thanks T-Mobile).

 No matter where I enter my status, within five minutes it’ll update all the other sites and services. Interestingly the Jaiku app on my E61 also shows this information even if I didn’t use Jaiku to create the update – so it’s not just relying on what I last typed in to it.

The next step? With Jaiku’s ability to map my location by cell ID, I could add location information to my feeds too – or make a Google maps mashup, sort of along the lines of Buddyping. There’s obviously privacy concerns here – I don’t always want the world to know exactly where I am. With the status messages I don’t microblog my every moment, and have a choice of what I write, so that’s not a problem.

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