Congratulations to the Jaiku team – it’s exciting time for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for all of their hard work. Jaiku is a feature-rich microblogging service that has lagged behind it’s less-feature-ful companion, Twitter.
But – working with Google can be a cautionary tale. Anyone remember Dodgeball? It was one of the first microblogging services, where you could notify your friends (and crushes) where you were. Google also bought them and everyone was just as excited. It soon bacame clear that Dodgeball was not very high on the list of Google’s priorities, development lagged and momentum stopped. Frustrated, in April 2007, Dodgeball’s founders left to pursue other projects.
Now Google’s a smart company and I’m sure learned from that last go round. But before people start pointing to this deal as the "Twitter-killer" – let’s take a step back and reflect on history. Jaiku has already put the breaks on new users (you can still be invited by a friend) and are working with the Google engineers to develop a stronger service. Great – but the ball’s in Google’s court, not Jaiku’s, so we’ll have to see how quickly they turn this around.
Twitter will be fine, better even by competition.
Robert Scoble thinks that this isn’t about Twitter at all, it’s about Facebook. I think he’s right. With Google’s Orkut 2.0 coming on November 5th, it’s a whole new ballgame.
And maybe, just maybe, it’ll correct all of those scary, scary Facebook (and Facebook application)valuations. It makes my Bubble 1.0-survivor heart tremble.
BTW – another reason I love Twitter – Brian Solis of PR 2.0 fame, put out the following Twitter about the Jaiku story:
"Jaiku is a client of my agency FutureWorks, I’m hearing from writers that can’t reach google. DM me if u need anything and r on deadline." Awesome. He also thinks that Jaiku is more than a microblogging service, that its more of a lifestream.
I’ll defintely use Jaiku more in the future weeks and see if I can find the flow and integrate it in my life more. My friend Patrick is a fan – I’ve been putting it off, but now I’ll have to see if I agree.