twitter, jaiku or neither?
I don’t know if you’ve caught the buzz, or even heard of, Twitter or Jaiku, but a few hundred thousand people seem to be addicted to it. I think I first heard about it from Robert Scoble. I guess Leo Laporte of TWiT fame talked it up and boosted the subscribership. Then Leo thought the Twitter name was too similar to his TWiT (“this week in tech”) and was worried about trademark issues, so he made a big deal about leaving Twitter for Jaiku and a bunch of folks followed him (and brought the jaiku servers to their knees).
My initial assessment is that there is a lot of over-hype, but I do think they can provide some value in ways that email, IM and blogging can’t. In some ways, Twitter/Jaiku is to blogging as IM is to email – with some overlap.
It reminds me a little of the LinkedIn buzz a few years ago. I tried it out and got bored, so I thought I’d see how big I could grow my network for the fun of it. I linked up with a few networkers who had huge networks and I soon had over a million people in my network which basically defeated the whole purpose of LinkedIn, although I have to admit it was fun getting the reactions from people with tiny networks who linked to me and suddenly got an incredible boost. Likewise, Robert Scoble has 2,700+ “friends” on Twitter with pages of updates scrolling by at a ridiculous rate.
On the other hand, if you use LinkedIn as it’s intended and only link to people you know well, it can be really useful. I do use it that way by dealing with referrals from trusted sources and ignoring the ones from strangers. Unlike twitter/jaiku, LinkedIn doesn’t (or at least didn’t) make it easy to delete folks from your networks, so I’m stuck with the strangers. Similarly, if you only add people you actually know and interact with regularly to your twitter/jaiku account (unlike Scoble), it might have some use.
On the other hand (?), Kathy Sierra has some really good points on the matter 🙂
I can’t tell if twitter or jaiku will take the lead, or if they’ll both flop. I’ll post both of my accounts and see what happens.
Feel free to add me on either one. I should warn you that everyone’s first impression of twitter and/or jaiku seems to be that they’re lame; for some that impression changes. I’m still on the fence.
UPDATE forgot a few twitter related sites:
Granted, these may not be that useful, but I do think it’s cool that Twitter has published an API that allows the development of applications to produce and consume “tweets”.
Update 2: I just added a twitter badge to this blog page – you can check it out in the sidebar to the right. Is that cool, or what? I’m referring to the technology, not the content of my updates which by nature will be boring 🙂