Is Jaiku Still Around?

Jaiku LogoRemember Jaiku? That service which was launched in 2007 which aimed to be a Twitter like service except that it was more of a content aggregator than anything else. Using Jaiku, users can type in 140 character messages as updates while also having conetent aggregated from other services they are apart of through parsing RSS feeds.

As it turns out, Jaiku is still around. In a blog post published on the official Jaiku blog on May 30th, Jyri reminded folks that Jaiku is still alive and well and that moving the service into the Google App Engine has taken much longer than anticipated. Jyri also mentioned that they do in fact have plans for future development. What that future development might be is anyone’s guess.

What I find interesting is that, this service called FriendFeed has ate Jaiku for lunch and then spit them out. FriendFeed works in a very similar fashion to Jaiku except there are no 140 character limits and the content aggregation looks much prettier on FriendFeed. Also, there appears to be much more conversation surrounding the aggerated content items on FriendFeed than there is on Jaiku.

So although Jaiku was one of the first services out of the gate to allow aggregation of your content into a central location allowing others to comment on those items, either their timing was wrong for the service or they had a few things wrong with their implementation. If that was the case, I don’t know what those wrong items might of been. The bottom line is, Jaiku was the first major player in this arena and once Google acquired them, they have fallen flat on their faces. Also, I find it funny that the people behind the FriendFeed service are ex Google employees. Isn’t that quite the coincidence?

The bottom line is, FriendFeed is the place to be in terms of content aggregation in a central location. The early adopters along with many of the big names within the blogosphere are climbing all over each other on the service which is usually a good sign that the service is worthy of your time. Jaiku on the other hand is still invite only which doesn’t appear to be doing them any good.

I don’t see Jaiku ever becoming a threat to FriendFeed. FriendFeed has picked up where Jaiku has left off, improved upon their offerings and apparently, they have done everything right. There is no looking back for FriendFeed and if I were the creators of Jaiku, I’d be thanking my lucky stars that I was acquired before the launch of FriendFeed.

One last thing before I go. I wanted to highlight the fact that it would seem as though being the first one out of the gate does not guarantee anything. I strongly believe that the Google acquisition has done nothing but set Jaiku back but hey, at least Jryi and company received a nice paycheck.

Lifestreaming Service FriendFeed Reviewed

FriendFeed.com Logo

Company Background:

FriendFeed is one of the newest startups to come swinging out of the gate, that promises to streamline your myriad of web activities into one, easy to digest stream. This is sometimes referred to as, Lifestreaming. FriendFeed was founded by Bret Taylor, Jim Norris, Paul Buchheit and Sanjeev Sing Prior to Google, Bret worked at Reactivity, Paul worked at Intel and Sanjeev worked at Thirdvoice.com. Bret, Jim and Sanjeev hold Computer Science degrees from Stanford University and Paul holds a Computer Science degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Signing In:

Unlike most other services I sign up to beta test, FriendFeed actually sent me a an invitation code immediately after signing up. The signup process consisted of the usual information with one exception. Password, Email and Username were the usual culprits but you can also choose your Nickname which will also be the name attached to your FriendFeed sub domain. For example, mine is http://friendfeed.com/jeffro2pt0 with Jeffro2pt0 being my nickname. So far, FriendFeed does not support logging in via OpenID. Continue reading

FriendFeed Another LifeStreamer

FriendFeed Logo

As reported by TechCrunch today, four ex-googlers have started their own company called FriendFeed. FriendFeed aims to aggregate user data that is usually stored on a wide variety of social networking sites, into one easy to manage stream of data. The presentation of this data looks like it will be displayed in the same way that the Facebook News Feed is shown.

The question I have for all of you is, Hasn’t Jaiku been one of the first to accomplish this feat in the form of RSS feeds and aggregating them to one account? Jaiku even gives you the oppurtunity to pick which feeds of an individual that you want to subscribe to.

Because this company was started by four ex-googlers, do you think this company will take off like a rocket or will it sink like an anchor?

Yappd Finally Getting Somewhere

Yappd.com LogoYappd, the service that was awarded my first negative review which can be read here, has released a few updates which finally make the service worth using. These updates include uploading photos, public API and TinyURL Support.

Yappd members can now upload photos via their web site. Yappd has also added in support so that you’ll be notified if friends on your watchlist have posted any Yappd messages. If your a developer, and for some reason would like to integrate Yappd into your application or website, you can now visit http://yappd.com/api to tap into their Beta API.

Yappd claims they are focusing on the capabilities of their platform by allowing member’s of other microblogging websites, to have their other “messages” posted as Yapps automatically. Another item on their to do list includes, expanding their mobile carrier support for picture messaging and international support.

With these updates in mind, I may have to go back to the Yappd site and give it another try.

Yappd Support Question Answered

Yappd.comYappd, the non Twitter Killer has responded to my support email. In my email, I asked them how to add images to Yappd postings. Here is what they replied to me with.

The way you add pictures right now is only by cell phone through picture message. Early next week we will add photos upload from the website.

You read it here first folks. Next week, Yappd will allow users to send images along with their posts. I don’t want to bag on Yappd anymore than I already have, (see my review Yappd Reviewed – Non Twitter Killer ) But this feature should of been released with the service on day 1. However, I’d say thanks to Yappd for responding to my email.

Yappd Reviewed – Non Twitter Killer

Yappd LogoAs mentioned on AppScout and TechCrunch, Yappd is a Twitter like service which gives users the additional privilege of posting an image along with their Yappd message. Lets take a tour of this service to see if it’s the new Twitter.

Synopses:

Yappd is a brand new company founded by three individuals, Brendan Lim, Brent Collier, and Andrew Tilt. The two founders, Brendan and Brent, both are Software Engineers that decided that it was important to let your friends quickly see what you’re doing. Also, to develop it quickly, the two founders decided to develop Yappd using Ruby on Rails.

Signing Onto The Bandwagon:

The signup process for Yappd is fairly straightforward. What is required to create an account? A first name, last name, preferred username, email address, and preferred password. The standard mojo.

Using Yappd:

Once you log into your Yappd account, the first thing you’ll most likely notice is the Twitter/Jaiku like text area where you can type in your message. Notice how many characters Yappd gives you, 150. Thats right, 10 more characters than what those other guys offer to help you get your point across!

150 Charachters!

Your watch list, or what is more commonly known as your friends list, is located on the left hand side of your user page. Once you add someone to your watch list, you can watch what they Yapp about from your user account page. One of these days, one of these services are going to use the word STALK as a way to add and monitor friends. At any rate, the Yappd layout is pretty similar to Twitter and Jaiku as all three use Tabs as a way to distinguish between your own messages, your friends messages, and all messages.

Tabbed Messages Similar To Jaiku And Twitter

Yappd provides a few different ways of posting messages. You can either yapp by email, website, or phone. If you want to yapp by phone, all you have to do is send a text or picture message to yapp@yappd.com. Your yapp will be posted within 1-2 minutes. You can yapp by e-mail the very same way you yapp by phone. Just shoot off your yapps to yapp@yappd.com. Your yapp will be posted within 1-2 minutes. What about the cost, associated with using your phone to yapp? Yappd does not charge you any fee to yapp by phone. You will, however, get charged, the normal rate for a text or picture message from your mobile phone carrier.

A feature almost not worth mentioning is the REMIND ME feature, which if enabled in your privacy settings allows other Yappd users to essentially poke you. This feature is suppose to remind users that they haven’t Yappd in awhile. This small feature reminds me of the POKEing going on in the world of Facebook, just on a smaller scale. I’m glad that Yappd decided to make this a user enabled or disabled feature as I’m sure most folks would not have to be reminded that they are neglecting to Yapp.

Now, I realize the title for this article highlights the fact that in some way shape or form, you can add images to your Yapp messages. I have to admit, I can’t figure out how to perform this function of the service. I have sent an email, asking their support team how this feature works and how it’s defined. I am beginning to think that you can only add images to your Yapp account through a camera enabled mobile phone but until they reply to my email, it’s anyones guess. I tried visiting their HELP section but honestly, it didn’t really HELP me.

Conclusion – Final Thoughts

With Twitter and Jaiku being considered established leaders within their niche (micro-blogging) , I am pretty disappointed to see a service such as Yappd come online without at least, if not more, functionality and features than their competition. I don’t understand why companies who want to enter this space don’t end up taking what’s already available and taking it to the next level. Instead, these companies come online and they look like barebone versions of their competition.

Yappd, has no way of allowing you to direct message your friends, doesn’t have an XML or RSS feed of your own messages, no way to customize the look of your Yappd page, no way to embed your Yappd status or messages into your blog or some other website, no clear concise documentation which would really make the help section, the HELP section and is missing even more features from both Jaiku, Twitter and Pownce that I care to mention.

This is the kind of crap that gives credence to the ongoing debate on whether or not, we are in a Web 2.0 bubble. I will withhold my thoughts and feelings as that is another blog post for another day, but if any of you Yappd guys read this, please as soon as possible, make your site something worth switching too. I’d love to see a blog post from Yappd that explains their vision and where they plan on taking this service as I’ve already seen one of their employees Yapp about how they plan to be around for the long term. I’m sorry, but unless you guys do something revolutionary or at the very least ‘catch up’ there won’t be a long term.