Archive for the 'Mobile' Category

Jaiku – not Twitter, obviously

Today I received one of the coveted invites to Jaiku*, the micro-blogging service that’s been likened to Twitter a lot (even though it has been around longer). While Jaiku used to be open for registrations, it closed them down when they were bought by Google.

Now, what is it that differentiates Jaiku from other micro-blogging services, most notably the larger-than-life but downtime-ridden competitor Twitter? Well, first of all, it’s fast. I haven’t tested it for long now, but unlike Twitter, it actually opens up the links I click. Which is, let’s be honest, fucking rad!

Difference #2: Jaiku is a lifestreaming service. While Twitter was refreshing in its simplicity when it launched, sooner or later one just longs to spice up terse text-messages with a few shenanigans. Jaiku lets you import RSS feeds from Flickr, YouTube and whatever blog or service you see fit. Thus, it rivals sites like Tumblr or new-kid-on-the-block FriendFeed (which I just recently wrote about here Actually, I thought I did, but what do you know, I didn’t).

Just like Twitter, Jaiku offers integration with your mobile phone, letting you update and receive Jaiku content. IM is supported as well, setting it all up is a breeze.

And as has been mentioned on this site already, Jaiku is doing a good job when it comes to community building. How? Well, there’s something called channels, and it’s a not a whole lot more than the grouping of people around a certain topic, area, etc. While this doesn’t sound too spectacular, it’s something that comes in handy for creating microcommunities on the fly (which sounds a lot like a marketing phrase, and I think I just invented it, and I’m sort of proud of it now).

All in all, Jaiku provides a compelling service, and while it suffers, like so many social networks, from a lack of mainstream adoption, I hope Google will have learned from their Dodgeball disaster and help Jaiku to bloom rather than whither (and I am, officially, a poet).

* I received my invite via Jaiku Invites, a website that facilitates the sharing of invites. It worked like a charm, I absolutely recommend it!

Twitter limits

Being one of the first people to have blogged about Twitter, I’m not at all uncomfortable with the role of the Nr.1 specialist on the topic. Sure, there are people like Robert Scoble who send Twitter messages before brushing their teeth, but you know, quantity just doesn’t equate quality.

But on to the point: As it seems, Twitter has introduced a limit on the number of messages one can receive when using their London number (the limit’s 250 messages per week). Which means for everyone in the whole of Europe. They explain this with certain limitations by mobile phone networks, deals they have to strike, in order for us to keep having the pleasure of micro-blogging.

Now, I may be using Twitter, but I seriously don’t need to receive 250 messages a week. Or so I initially thought. The thing is, the more popular Twitter becomes, the more webservices make use of their API. So suddenly the messages you receive aren’t anymore simple recounts of people brushing their teeth (if they’ve already managed to do that before starting their Twitter day), but instead reminders from, say, Remember the Milk or personal assistant Sandy.

What I’m trying to get at here is the following: Now that Twitter has become something more than a mere meme poured into a webservice, people have started to rely on it. And when people start to rely on receiving messages, limiting that number to an amount that could easily be used up by fervent Twitterers just isn’t a splendid idea.

Twitter still holds the top spot when it comes to mobile- and micro-blogging, but there’s always a start-up around the corner that would love to skim off the users who are irritated by measures like this one. Especially when one of those start-ups has recently been bought by The Google.

I’d love to add something like “Heed my warning, Twitter!”, if it wasn’t a tad too melodramatic. But still, do it!

PS: If you happen to be a Jaiku user and nice enough to send out invitiations to total strangers, why not send me one to richard at stormgrass.com?

Twitbin – and yet another way to twitter

Ah, I just can’t stop writing about Twitter. Somehow there’s just a lot more fun in writing about things that serve no real purpose. Well, here’s another installment in that saga.

Twitbin is a Firefox plugin that adds a sidebar to your browser, letting you monitor Twitter (friends or public lifeline) and add messages. Very simplistic, but light and quick too.

I like.

Screenshot:
twitbin.jpg




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