Leo Laporte, the podcaster of note over at the TWiT network, has announced that he is leaving Twitter for Jaiku after being responsible, to a large degree, for much of Twitter’s popularity after he discussed Twitter shortly before SXSW a little while ago (here is the episode of Net@Nite where Leo and amber interviewed Evan Williams, Twitter’s creator).
The problem is the name. I wish to heck he’d named it Tweeter, or Tooter, or anything but Twitter. Twitter is so close to TWiT that I’m afraid it’s really confusing. And it hasn’t helped the confusion that I’ve been such a fan of Twitter. I’m sure half the people there think we have some sort of relationship. But we don’t. And the proliferation of programs like Twitbox and sites like Twit This are not helping things much. So let me repeat…
Twitter has nothing to do with TWiT.
And, I’m afraid, I can’t have anything to do with Twitter, either. It’s just fueling the confusion. Fortunately, there are several similar services including Groovr, Dodgeball, and Jaiku. After a cursory glance at all three Jaiku seems to have the best mix of features for me (I’m too old to be groovy, or hooking up) so I’m moving to Jaiku. (In truth, it offers a much richer set of features than Twitter.) My handle is ChiefTWiT. Hope to see some of you there.
I registered on Jaiku and found that it really doesn’t look all that different to Twitter:
There is a client for Series 60 Nokia smartphones (2nd and 3rd edition phones only at the moment although there is a Java client in private beta) which I installed on my phone. The client wanted to start broadcasting details of my diary (which I’m not keen on) and managed to drain my battery through an apparently constant connection (which switched on when I turned my phone on even though I had shut the client down previously).
As for the main service, I do like the fact that you can add feeds to your stream (I added my Twitter and Wired Gecko’s feeds) so that at least means I could keep either going and, at the same time, keep some content going on Jaiku. I haven’t quite figured out exactly what Jaiku does. My limited experience with the mobile edition leads me to believe it could be a far more invasive service than Twitter. The one benefit of Jaiku, as Scott Wilder pointed out, is that you can add feeds to your Jaiku stream and can comment on messages. These are handy features for sure.
I suppose the big question here is whether Jaiku will supercede Twitter? I think time will tell. The answer will likely depend on the interface options, the costs involved and the communities on each.
Update: I was just thinking about some of the functionality on Jaiku and I think that it distinguishes itself from Twitter in that you have far more options when it comes to deciding which content you want to view. Aside from choosing your contacts, you can also choose which of that contact’s feeds and incoming content streams you want to include in your content stream. I believe the term is greater ‘granularity’. The feed finder on Jaiku can be a little blind when it goes hunting for feeds so you may want to copy and paste the feed addresses when you add feeds to your profile.
Another great use for Jaiku is as a kind of meta site where you can aggregate a number of content streams in one location for use as a kind of ongoing update stream.