I was intrigued by the facebook idea of a personal status and I was searching for a way to have my own status on my website that I could update from anywhere; a mobile phone, instant messenger and of course a computer. I came across Twitter during one of my revision breaks and realised that with its API and free remote access tools, including text messages, it was the perfect way for me to achieve what I wanted.
Within 5 minutes I was registered and within another 5 I had enabled updates via my mobile phone and instant messenger as well as writing a script that allowed me to update from the Linux terminal (hee hee). In my next revision break I spent a few minutes writing the code to integrate my Twitter status into my website and after a bit of tinkering with CURL and string splitting in php there it was in my side-bar under “My status”.
Whats so nice about all this is that my status is completely hidden on Twitter’s public site and yet my own site can tooth into their API and grab the status meaning I can update my site over my phone for free and only allow my site users to see it. I could also change my site to only allow logged in users to view it, I have complete control.
This is in sharp contrast to facebook’s way of doing a status update which, despite having an API, seems to always require a computer and a visit to their site to both view and update the status field. I want tools to enhance my own site and what it provides to my readers, not tools that use up more of my time because I have to update something in two locations. This means that, for now at least, my facebook status will remain disabled. If I figure out a way to use CURL to update my status inline with Twitter on facebook as well but without logging me out of facebook in my browser (this is what happens when I try it at the moment) then I will.
For now, enjoy my useful and most likely amusing status updates in my sidebar – no stalking please