Well, it seems the gravy train is over, or at least temporarily derailed. I’m not as tekkie as people think I am, so I didn’t know this until I tried to update Twitter Tools the other day, and learned that you now have to go through some interesting steps in trying to get it to work with Twitter; I still haven’t figured it out.
What’s going on? Twitter announced in April that they were going away with what’s called basic authentication because of all the spam and other ways that people were connecting to and abusing Twitter. They’re going to something they call OAuth, which will require all kinds of registration steps, special keys, etc. In other words, this is now a big deal. It’s a big deal because, based on what I’ve read, on August 31st all those things we presently use will be inoperable, unless the folks who developed those things decide to get the information needed to continue their usage.
What does it mean for us? It means that we don’t know if any of the things we presently use will be working after the 31st. Actually, the only one I think we know will be working is TweetMeme, and that’s only because Twitter just bought it. So, we’ll be wondering if any of the other things we use to post to Twitter, have others retweet our stuff to Twitter, use to check out Twitter followers or comments or posts or whatever else, will work the way they do now without more information from us. Twitter wants to move away from people only having to put in a username or password to get information; isn’t that interesting overall? They’re going the route of protecting their interests while Facebook goes the route of finding new ways to erode our privacy.
Actually, I did come across one plugin, but you then have to sign up for an account online that they charge you for, so I’m not even mentioning them. However, this might be the wave of the future, having to pay for access to Twitter through options that aren’t truly associated with Twitter. That also will prove to be interesting.
Either way, I guess we’re all in the same boat if we have Twitter accounts; let’s see what’s in store, and which white knight will ride to the rescue.