It’s a happy Friday over at identi.ca as a new look and a refreshed Laconica version went live today. The refresh gives Identi.ca a major interface makeover, including the addition of a tag cloud on a member’s profile, further demonstrating Laconica’s integration of hashtagging as a core feature of the platform. My hashtags are very predictable.
The killer feature of this refresh, though, is integrated support for groups. People have been clamoring for groups on Twitter for a while now, and Laconica delivers. A group is indicated by an exclamation point (!) prepended to a string indicating the group name. Eugene started a Charleston group referenced as !chs. If one mentions !chs in an update and they are a member of the group, that update is automatically added to the timeline for that group. This strikes me, at first glance, as a more structured way to find updates for events (like conferences) than by using hashtagging. It will be interesting to see where people take it.
Once again, Laconica demonstrates the beauty of development in the open as opposed to Twitter’s closed system. While a lot of people like Twitter the way it is, Identi.ca is once again reasserting its technological dominance over an increasingly restrictive and closed Twitter system. If you haven’t been back to Identi.ca in a while, I urge you to take a look; if you’ve never used it, try it! You can send your Identi.ca updates to Twitter with no problem, so your Twitter followers won’t miss out on what you’re up to.