Twitter made it big from small change beginnings. but can StatusNet get similar results with its open-source, aim high, spend little approach?
Canadian startup StatusNet started out last year and now offers a micro-blogging service to hundreds of small companies including its identi.ca guise, allowing them to chat in private or promote in public by integrating messages with social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
The aim of the service is to offer freedom and flexibility. As it's all open-source, if you don't like something about the service, take the code and create your own.
Private messages remain private and it uses the Twitter API to keep compatibility. If you're worried about not being able to access messages, there is a very long list of apps and services that are compatible, both for desktops and mobiles.
Recently, StatusNet hired Jon Phillips, former community and business development manager for Creative Commons. He joins Brion Vibber, former CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation. This provides a degree of firepower to the company's efforts and gives it a major voice in the open source world.
On the company's plans to use US$ 875k in seed financing, CEO Evan Prodromou said, "We plan to use this capital to build the sales, support and marketing power needed to take our software and services to the marketplace."
The WordPress of Microblogging
To do that, StatusNet is commercializing the open source service with support, customization services and a hosting platform: status.net.
StatusNet is currently in private beta with limited accounts by invite. You can still sign up and grab an account for when it does launch publicly.