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3 ways to a better Ping — the shared status service

Wednesday, 26 March 2008 — by

Ping.fm is a new status update service that serves a number of top Social Networks, like Facebook, Pownce, Jaiku and Twitter. It’s good, but I think there’s room for some improvement…

So there I was, seeing the name Ping.fm popping (pinging?) up all over Pownce. Being the curious sort, I decided to investigate.

On arriving at the Ping.fm website, I was to discover that they’re in beta mode and not presently accepting sign-ups.

“You could always send us a message and try to swindle an account from us if you don’t have a code. That’s been known to work sometimes.”

Never one to pass up on a challenge, I gladly accepted their offer:

“Assuming what you’ve got is any good, you’re going to need lots of ‘bloggers like me saying nice things about you.

Send me an invite and I’ll tell you what I think.

How’s that sound?”

My chutzpah was suitably rewarded with an account.

Ping.fm — initial thoughts

On the balance of things, I do like Ping.fm. It’s quick, casual and fits the bill for those who don’t want to go through the rigmarole of signing into their various profiles just to tell people what they’re doing.

To be fair, Ping.fm is still in beta, so my suggestions could well be known to the developers.

1. Links

Pownce is much more than a status update. It’s a fully-featured micro-blogging platform, which goes some way beyond what Twitter offers or indeed is.

In a similar sense, Jaiku walks the same path as Pownce. So my feeling is, special provision ought to be made for them.

For example, Ping.fm could do with an @url option for links and maybe make use of TinyURL or similar to truncate the links.

2. Widgetized

They’re all doing it these days, so there’s no reason for Ping.fm to be left behind — give us a widget we can either drop into our favourite personal page service like Netvibes or iGoogle, or place on our desktops, like an Adobe Air application.

3. Mobile

Will we see the day when Ping.fm draws people away from their mobile Twitterings? I very much doubt. It’s even possible to post to Twitter from Skype, or Apple’s iChat now.

But, as “killer” features go these days, as mentioned in Ping.fm’s own forums: “a mobile interface to use from my iPhone or Palm Treo”, and more besides, I no doubt.

In conclusion

Most of these services have varying character limits, so it would be interesting to see Ping.fm offer some visual display of that allowance (similar to Twitter), which should be easy enough for them to do.

What about sending multiple Pings from the same Message window?

Also, they should really place the “Quick Tips” under the Message text box. Maybe even have buttons for each network option?

While not likely to set the world alight, Ping.fm is a neat enough idea, if not an entirely novel one. Should they get enough exposure fast enough with the right people, while adding in the required mobile smarts, the future of Ping.fm could be bright…

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Comment and be known


Sean → Wednesday, 2 April 2008 @ 17:06 BDT

I just ran across your site and thought I would give you some feedback on your feedback ;)

Great feedback overall. It’s always nice seeing constructive criticism from our beta testers. Have it be known that we do offer the iGoogle gadget and plan to have an embeddable widget for users to have on their personal sites and/or blog administrations to make it easy to link to their tentative posts and what-not. We are currently working on a WordPress Plugin that will allow you to connect your pings to a hosted blog.

We’ve also just launched our quick-and-easy mobile platforms for both WAP phones and iPhones/iPod touches. You can peep those by visiting i.ping.fm on your i-device or m.ping.fm on you mobile.

Again, thanks for your suggestions. While we rock out in beta, any and all feedback is assessed in goal of making our service that much better.

Just to give you a heads up, we are a couple weeks away from adding Blogger, MySpace, Bebo and LinkedIn to our arsenal of supported services.

Best to you and your readers,

Sean
Ping.fm

Wayne Smallman → Wednesday, 2 April 2008 @ 19:58 BDT

Hi Sean, I saw someone do a link:ping.fm earlier on, so I’m assuming that’s you doing a little brand management? ;-)

Sounds like you’re way ahead of me on the mobile and widget front, which ought to encourage a few people look your way.

Glad you liked the suggestions and I really hope things work out for you.

Speak soon…

Sorry Comments are close. Quite possibly for a good reason. Share your thoughts on some of my other posts or contact me directly.

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