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Network World - For anyone who complains that Twitter posts are too short to be meaningful, we present you with Twitter's exact opposite: Woofer.
While Twitter limits users to 140 characters per tweet, Woofer requires each post to have a minimum of 1,400 characters.
Similar to Twitter, Woofer counts down the amount of characters you have input with a big number at the top right of the screen. But you're not allowed to post anything until you hit 1,400.
Woofer calls itself an homage to Twitter, but to avoid any legal problems makes sure to include statements such as "We are not affiliated in any way whatsoever with Twitter."
Woofer's user interface is near identical to Twitter, however. The service also urges users to tweet about Woofer and for a while Woofer was "borrowing" profile pictures from Twitter users.
Last week, I tried to post a gigantic "woof," by taking the text of a short article about Shaquille O'Neal and using the copy and paste function to get up to about 1.6 million characters.
Here's where it gets a little weird. Woofer asks you to type in your Twitter username. So I typed in my real one (JBrodkin) and my 1.6 million character woof appeared, along with my real profile picture from Twitter.
I immediately wondered: how and why did Woofer post my Twitter picture? I didn't type in any password. But I was signed into Twitter, so perhaps that's why it was able to grab my picture, I reasoned.
To test that theory, I submitted another woof but this time I typed in the username of a different Twitter user, one whom I have never met in person. That person's Twitter profile picture showed up next to the woof, effectively allowing me to impersonate this individual.
Woofer appears to be fixing this problem, though. As of Monday morning, most new posts are now accompanied by a picture of a little blue dog, rather than a real Twitter profile image.
Woofer does require at least some originality. At one point, I tried to woof by typing the letter "d" a bunch of times and
then hitting copy and paste over and over again. My attempt failed and I received this message:
"No Woof. Really?! 1400 characters and you can only use d? You can do better than that..."
Woofer obviously isn't meant to challenge Twitter in the microblogging, or "macroblogging" space, to use Woofer's term. The parody Web site is run by Join the Company, a small company in Washington, D.C., which says it specializes in launching "entertaining websites that change the way people use the Internet."
For the most part, it appears "copy and paste" is the preferred method of Woofer users to reach 1,400 words. Some of the first woofs reached the minimum by reciting the opening paragraphs of the Catcher in the Rye, the Gettysburg Address and the Old Testament.
As of Monday, 1,623 users had posted 1,934 woofs --for a whopping total of 38,683,934 characters. If you're wondering, that's about 20,000 characters per woof.
Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.