Way back in 2008 Dave Winer wrote "Microblogging should be decentralized" arguing that reliance on a single, for profit platform such as Twitter was a bad idea.
Admittedly, this was against the backdrop of the fail whale but the idea of a federated service seemed sound - the catch would be that Twitter would have to enable it and build the required tools (or allow developers to build them and we all know how that went!)
Manton Reece, a developer and podcaster, is writing a book called "Indie Microblogging" but also developing a new service called, unsurprisingly, micro.blog using RSS to deliver updates.
Micro.blog will be a combination of a paid platform to host microblogs (no advertising here) and a social network allowing you to follow updates from others, reply etc. It will also be open allowing you to connect your own blog rather than relying on the centralised hosting.
Twitter clones and alternatives have come and gone but this is something I would really like to see succeed so I've backed it on Kickstarter.
Why not check it out.