I avoided writing about twitter for a long time - everyone has posted how wonderful it is. Even mainstream media including the local Australian Financial Review (in which I was quoted).
There are two main reasons why Twitter is so great.
1. It's dead simple
2. It has lots of great people on it.
As Robert said in one of his Twitters:
"theuer: well, Jaiku is reacting slower than Twitter. It requires more clicks to see your messages than Twitter. And is more complicated. I never knew of it until today, which isn't saying much. What's cool about both of these is the people on them. NOT the technology."
The success of Twitter, though, makes me both happy (to see something grow so quickly and succeed so much - we should all be so lucky) and sad (to see two other services in the same space loose out on all the hype just because the 'right' people were using the competition).
Both Leo (TWiT fame) and Scoble got into Twitter around the same time and started a huge Twitter land rush. That, combined with a celebrity co-founder (Ev - of Blogger fame) made Twitter an instant success.
I actually posted about Twitter and Jaiku a long time before it became popular and actually said that Jaiku was better. But I think I made a mistake. A mistake the Robert Scoble repeated today in a discussion on Twitter itself.
Both he and I (much earlier) compared the two and equated them to the same thing.
I actually think they are quite different. Twitter is simpler, but Jaiku is attempting to be something more comprehensive and different than Twitter. The two can actually co-exist and compliment each other.
While Twitter strives to answer one question "What are you doing", Jaiku asks a very different question (implicitly). It asks "Who are you".
Where Twitter has evolved into almost a chat room, Jaiku has evolved into a Lifestream.
What's the difference? Well what you chat about and 'do' is only part of the picture. There are also photos, bookmarks, blog posts, music selections and more - each of which are not found on your Twitter stream. In fact I have seen many argue that they should NEVER be found in Twitter. Twitter is for human updates about human things.
The advantage of a Lifestream is that it creates a living record of ALL your digital activities. Jaiku calls them Presence Streams - but they are the same thing.My Jaiku Presence Stream
has my blog posts, my Twitter stream and my Flickr photos. Others include their del.icio.us links and more. While there are hacks and mashups out there to make RSS imports into Twitter possible - I don't think it belongs there.
So now Leo is moving to Jaiku
. Does this mean everyone else will follow him? Robert already has
With all the Attention being paid to both these services, a little known service called Loopnote is being overlooked. In part this is because their team is not engaged in the conversation. If you read the comments on Robert's post about setting up a Jaiku account, Martin (who I presume is the CEO of Loopnote) is asking frantically why no one is paying attention to his product.
As Robert says - you have to join the conversation Martin.
Maybe Loopnote is not quite as good as Twitter (for example it seems to have more of a focus on announcements from groups to individuals rather than individuals to individuals), but it's also a little bit of luck. If Leo stumbled into Loopnote first, maybe the whole thing would have gone a different way.
This post is getting a little long.. but I'd also like to point out a very clever observation that Robert makes on this post
about Twitter's potential for advertisers.
"You're missing the even bigger opportunity for marketers: people are telling us WHAT THEY USE and WHAT THEY LIKE.
If you can listen and learn to engage people on Twitter you'll find a marketing goldmine here. If I were really smart, I'd hire a team to categorize each Twitterer 24-hours-a-day. I'd start building a database of behaviors shared.
Someone say "changing the diapers." Well, now we know they have a newborn at home. What could marketers do with THAT? TONS!"
What you are actually talking about is 'Attention Data
' Robert. I think that Jaiku does a better job at getting a complete picture of your Attention Data (considering you can stream all your personal RSS into it). But rather than give it to advertisers (yuk) there are opportunities to create personal filters out of the information to help reduce information overload.
. More on this later.