I just went back to check out Jaiku. It’s a clean interface. There’s a US short SMS code so it’s easy to use from my phone. There are people using it still, and it has some features that Twitter doesn’t.
I’m a bit frustrated with Twitter. They deleted my friend Dave Fisher for no apparent reason, and didn’t put him back until Jeff Pulver sent a message to the senior team. They’ve capped a few friends’ following limits with no explanations (both have several thousand fewer than me, so I can’t even understand the math). So yeah, I’m frustrated.
BUT, there are no real tools for Jaiku. There’s no Summize. There’s no Tweetstats. There’s no Twitter ANYTHING built around it.
And that’s the takeaway.
One way to win in software is to make your application fertile for building upon. Open your API. Give people tools to build an ecosystem around it. And it becomes a lot harder to pull away and go elsewhere. Other tools have enough of the same features on the surface, but once you go past being a certain level of user, it’s not a 1:1 comparison. Twitter has a software community. Jaiku just has big parents.
If I were selling software, I’d think hard about this.