In the early days of IM, there were several competing commercial standards. Jabber came along as a proposal of a multi-platform solution based on Free software and was standardised as the XMPP protocol which for a while was adopted by Facebook and Google for their messaging systems, before too much openness started being a threat to their business models.
One of the interesting things about Jabber/XMPP is that it allows gateways that convert to other messaging standards, unless companies pull up their drawbridges and prevent it.
Is Birningham tech big enough to stand up and demand access via open standards within the city? Is it worth trying, even if we fail, for the publicity that Brum is open for digital business? We could all just do it, start using XMPP service suppliers from the list at http://www.jabber.org/ Twitter @jabberdotorg or ‘someone’ could set up a service here and provide a local hub to cut down Brum’s bit-Miles and provide gateways to the other common protocols people use. If it worked we could share how we’d done it and not supporting Open standards might become unacceptable.
Who thinks this is a good/bad idea? Does anyone know any reasons that it wouldn’t work? (“No-one else uses it”, is the usual reason. This is why we’d need fairly widespread agreement before anyone would change. A tech community seems the ideal place to try.)
Over the weekend, I spent a couple of hours explaining to an 88-year old why he needs text messaging on his phone and Google Hangouts AND Skype on his Hudl, to be able to talk to his family, so my motivation is currently quite high. Open voice and video chat too would be an ideal but they have to work on all platforms. Yes, there are solutions from Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Facebook but they don’t talk, which is The Point.