TODAY IS JAIKU FRIDAY as suggested by Pixenate frontman Walter Higgins and echoed by Alexia Golez. It will be interesting to use Google as a benchmark to measure the uptake of the event. When I posted this item, 38 references appeared to Jaiku Friday on Google. I use Jaiku as a microblogging platform (above) and I trust Jaiku to push 140 characters at a time directly to my phone from 30 people I follow. I follow four times as many people or web sites with Jaiku and I can quickly see changes made by all those people and I can observe changes made on a wide swath of web sites by looking at my home page on Jaiku. We are also using Jaiku in community groups, between college campuses and among political activists for some functions that elevate it from being a mere social networking site.
Jaiku as a Flash Message Service. In the military, FLASH traffic causes all other communications to enter a message queue. We're testing Jaiku as a trusted place where staff and students in Tipperary Institute can read about road closures, weather cancellations, lost keys, blocked entrances, bereavements, birth announcements and many more things that could stop work during the day. Flash messages in a JIFFY. There is an element of trust involved in this initiative because if Jaiku is to replace group email or instant messaging, people must trust Jaiku to handle their mobile phone numbers. This is a big hurdle because many people do not input their mobile phone numbers into strange websites. It will be interesting to see whether the Jaiku Flash Message Service actually proves viable but we have embarked upon a test plan for the next three months. If the use case results in thumbs-up from power users, we will probably extend the JIFFY as a paid messaging solution with an Irish SMS Gateway.
Jaiku as a personal USENET. During the summer months, we discovered it's possible to use Jaiku to connect people in all parts of Ireland when writing grant proposals, when dragging equipment into distant locations, and when framing video shots before visiting venues. If you trust Jaiku as an SMS group text service and you manage the members of your group, you can get updates from Jaiku onto your phone as well-formed 140 character updates. This saved me hours of telephone tag during the summer.
Jaiku as a dependable, free service. I get Jaiku messages within 10-15 seconds of people sending them from the main Jaiku website and when messages are sent from Jaiku mobile phone numbers to my Jaiku channel, I get those messages within 30 seconds of them hitting the network. I have cross-checked this standard of service when running Jaiku on my three mobile phones simultaneously. I have separate Jaiku identities for my SonyEricsson P910i, my Nokia E90 and my Sierra Wireless Card. Its dependability means people who want to comment on poor service or good value can text their thoughts on the spot to Jaiku and their followers can take up the conversation there on Jaiku or spawn it onto their blogs. If you have as few as 15 text-capable people who are involved in a smart mob, a protest, or just want to monitor the sca, Jaiku can deliver a flow of information good enough to power a daytime radio show on its own.
Jaiku as a back channel for meetings. If you have ever attended a conference or hung on the line for a teleconference, you know there are better things to watch than the main presenter or the conference host. If participants are tuned into Jaiku's back channel during a presentation or if people on the phone call use Jaiku to text in their points of view, you can often get an impressive amount of background information and colour commentary that proves useful when blogging about an event or when writing meeting minutes of a teleconference.
Jaiku, Twitter and Pownce all provide group text services for free. Compared to the other two services, Jaiku allows tighter controls of content and contacts. Jaiku lets you decorate posts with icons. Jaiku allows you to populate a feed with RSS subscriptions from anywhere on the planet. Jaiku's threaded conversations keep thoughts nice and neat. There are probably other reasons that elevate Jaiku above other group text services and we hope our creative multimedia students identify these factors in the essays they write after spending time working with social networking tools.
First introduced to Jaiku at Reboot9, I didn't see the point of having all these things. After a few months of using the service--and watching Twitter stumble and fall several times during the same time period--I hope Jaiku continues gathering momentum because the only thing it lacks at the moment is the cacophony of more voices. That said, I really don't mind being able to use a free and reliable group text system that gives my text messages a potent Google identity.