January 30, 2008 |
Users of the Movable Type 4.1 blogging platform from Six Apart can now enjoy the added benefits of microblogging with a new plugin known as Action Streams, which is part of the company's strategy towards more social openness.
With Action Streams, which works similarly to Facebook's news feed and FriendFeed (previously covered here), bloggers can “aggregate, control, and share” actions around the web, while avoiding some of the problems that have plagued current offerings. For example, Six Apart mentions that users have complete control over the management and privacy of their profiles. Multiple services are supported through the plugin (such as Flickr, Digg, Del.icio.us, and Twitter as shown in the screenshot), which displays actions on the web through a widget that can be customized to fit and match your blog. Users can also, in detail, determine exactly which of their actions are recorded and shown through the widget, and which actions are not. Another advantage is the fact that Actions Streams is completely self-hosted, whereas FriendFeed, Plaxo Pulse and Facebook's news feed are all remotely hosted.
Concerning open standards, Six Apart has decided to have the plugin publish actions using both the Atom format and the Microformat hAtom, which should help make the feeds more universal and make it easier for people to transport activity streams. “Open and decentralized implementations of these technologies are important to their evolution and adoption, based on our experiences being involved in creating TrackBack, Atom, OpenID, and OAuth,” states David Recordon, Open Platforms Tech lead at Six Apart.
Recordon goes on to mention that those who run a community with Movable Type can “publish a summary of the whole community's activity,” as has been done on this Team Activity demo at Movable Type's homepage. Other examples are also available at Recordon's own blog, as well as the homepage of Michael Sippey, VP of Product at Six Apart.