Home » participatory culture » I Jaikued today … I don’t think I shall again.

I Jaikued today … I don’t think I shall again.


I tried Jaiku today since it’s been discussed a lot recently as the ‘other’ Twitter (even though Jaiku was around first, I think).

First impressions of Jaiku – a lot more tools, more fleshed out, I like the idea of comment threads on individual messages, it’s less about popularity per se, and more about a small tight-knit group (I think). The recent explosion of interest and use of Twitter seems to have people trying Jaiku as well, but from my few hours of use, the massive influx of users has left Jaiku with more speed problems than Twitter’s recent scaling and capacity issues.

However, the appeal of Twitter for me is its simplicity … it has very few tools and the posts (Twits) are primarily self-contained. The ‘@’ reponding has evolved socially, but I don’t imagine it’ll grow to get all that complicated.

More to the point, for me, Twitter is a sometimes food and I like my procrastination (or ‘continual partial prescence’ if you must) simple and no fuss.

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  1. Hi Tama, your observation about “a small tight-knit group” being important for Jaiku is a correct one, although at the moment a few groups are not that small (e.g. hunreds of members). We think that in the future people will share more personal (and thus more important and relevant) information with a smaller group of people, and our roadmap aims at enabling this.

    I believe we can combine both rich functionality and simplicity, but that remains to be seen πŸ™‚ We just got 500 answers to our user survey, which is invaluable in making the service even easier to use than it is currently. Usually, people are saying after a couple of days of jaikuing that it is extremely easy to use, “but you should improve X, Y, and Z”.

    Speaking about site performance, go ahead and check the current situation: although we have more traffic than ever, the optimizations have had a huge effect.

  2. Hi Petteri,
    Please don’t get the impression I was bashing Jaiku – I think it’s an impressive service. For me, the main reason I’d Twitter over Jaiku (and I like that both words sound like nouns and verbs) is that my Twitterfriends are more widespread and less intimate than would be appropriate for Jaiku (imho, of course)!

  3. No offense taken, your text was very rational, and I enjoyed commenting on it πŸ™‚ You’re right that the nature of the services is somewhat different and maybe due to this quite a few people use them both for slightly different purposes.

    Keep your eye on Jaiku, however. In the next 4-6 weeks we’ll introduce a few new things I’d consider killed features. They may even create a compelling-enough case for you to start using Jaiku with a group of close friends πŸ™‚

  4. Man, you must think I’m stalking you after all our correspondance today. *shakes head*

    I’m not after a comment this time for my article though. I did, however, want to remark on something you said during the interview on Twitter.

    You mentioned on a number of occasions that Twitter operates, virtually, a free SMS service, and that it does so may lead Twitter to becoming economically non-viable.

    I was discussing my article with someone tonight (as it happens, another student from the self-net unit) and they raised the point that SMSing through Twitter isn’t free; at least, for the user it isn’t. Twitter may burden the cost of passing on an SMS from the sender to the intended recipient(s), but the sender still incurs the initial cost of sending the message.

    Well, that’s the case in Australia, anyway.

    Thanks again for offering your time, knowledge, and opinions =)

  5. Hi Evana,

    You’re quite right – Australian users do indeed pay for the initial SMS to Twitter. (That said, if a Twitter user was using the web interface to create the messages, those Twits are still sent to the mobile phones of said Twitter user’s friends, and then no cost is incurred). I guess my main point was that even if the Twitter user has to pay for sending one SMS, in order to re-send that to the friends of that Twitterer, Obvious Corp (the brains and money behind Twitter) foot the bill for sending anywhere from a couple to upwards of 1000 SMSes per Twit (the 1000 number is only in extreme cases of A-List Twitterati like Robert Scoble, of course).

    Still, there’s a lot of money being spent by someone to keep that sort of service alive!

    Hope your article turns out well – I look forward to reading it! πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Tama,

    I’ve had to make a couple of edits to my article in order to make what we discussed on here clearer. I have the perfect quote to use to illustrate it, but it’s sort of a mish-mash of what you said over the phone yesterday and what you’ve said in your comment above.

    So I’m just writing to ask for your permission to use the following line:

    “Even if the Twitter user has to pay for sending one SMS, in order to re-send that to the friends of that Twitterer, Obvious Corp (the brains and money behind Twitter) foots the bill for sending anywhere from a couple to upwards of 1000 SMSes per Twit.”

    I’m just hoping that the word “twit” won’t cause too much of a problem for my editors – it’s not really explained what a “twit” is in my article. And I’m not altogether certain that I know what it means either!

  7. Oh, I decided to delete the part where you’d said that Twitter may not be economically viable – so I guess it’s not really a mash-up of what you said here and what was said over the phone.

  8. Hi Evana, That quote is fine (you can replace ‘Twit’ with ‘Post’ if you prefer!). Could you send me a link when the article is published? πŸ™‚

    Oh, and for anyone else reading these threads, what I’d said was that Twitter may not be economically viable in the long-term in its current form due to the huge anjd increasing SMS costs Obvious Corp must be incurring!

  9. Thanks, Tama. =)

    And according to one of the Chief of Staff who I’ve been corresponding with about my article, the revised version of the article I sent him a moment ago has been “rejigged and filed”. So I guess “Twit” was alright after all!

    I’ve also been told that I can’t be guaranteed of where or when it will turn up in the paper, but when it does I’ll let you know =)

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