Ok not really. But Leo Laporte jumping ship and joining Jaiku has definitely sparked controversy. And, it set the stage for a series of discussions comparing and contrasting Twitter and Jaiku - thus leaving behind the few other competitors that seem to miss these important discussions online.
It all started with Leo Laporte broadcasting a goodbye from Twitter - "Goodbye Twitter and Hello Jaiku." The reigning king of Twitter, with over 4,400 followers, indeed left the community in favor of up-and-coming site, Jaiku.
"Twitter is so close to TWiT that I'm afraid it's really confusing. 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," according to Leo.
This is a surprising move, and at the same time not so surprising. There has been confusion within the community between his show, TWiT (The Week in Tech), and the Twitter brand, along with all of the other Twitter related offshoots, including Twittervision, Twittersearch, Twitteroo, Twitterific, etc. But at the same time, it has most likely increased awareness and viewers for TWiT.
Robert Scoble responded with a post confirming Leo's departure. He also published a few of the most important and fore "telling" tweets (or twits) from Leo that no longer appear on the service.
"I've asked Ev to delete my Twitter account. I'm concerned about confusion with TWiT. I'm moving to Jaiku: account is ChiefTWiT. CU there!"
"I should never have trademarked TWiT. Curse you Ev. Couldn't you have called this Odeoer or something?"The comments are the most informative and interesting however, because they allude to to the prospect that Leo may seek legal recourse to protect his TWiT trademark.
On an entertaining sidenote, however, Scoble and Jeremiah Owyang also took the opportunity to teach one commenter a lesson in PR (2.0). Co-founder of Twitter and Jaiku competitor, Loopnote, unintentionally exposed the company's weak marketing savvy when questioning why no one was talking about his service.
Scoble commented, "Sorry, Martin, but NO ONE has told me about your service. And I have hundreds of thousands of readers per week. The fact that you weren't here screaming your head off tells me you aren't very up to date on how markets work in the Web 2.0 world."
Scoble continued his lesson in PR 101, "Get onto the RSS bus. Learn to use Technorati and Google Blog Search (different than Google) and search for your name, your product name, your company name, your competitor's names."
OK. But let's get back to the emerging tug-of-war between Twitter and Jaiku...
What is most interesting about Leo's defection to Jaiku is that he was one of the few key influencers that literally spiked Twitter subscriptions, even prior to frenzy created at the Gamers Developer Conference in San Francisco and SXSW in Austin. For those who may not know the significance of these events, hundreds of highly influential bloggers, vloggers, and entrepreneurs (including Scoble) brought the twitter network down to a crawl by constnatly twittering their status during these events. Rafe Needleman, Stowe Boyd, Scoble, and I also recently twitter'd the Under the Radar Office 2.0 event.
What Laporte did for Twitter, he is now reproducing for Jaiku. It's the Leo effect.
Now, there is a line in the sand. A division between Twitter and Jaiku. No one thinks that two can survive and that this tournament of arm wrestling will only divide the Twitter community.
However, I don't think so.
Both offer points of value that will appeal to different market segments (left and right) as well as those who can enjoy playing both sides of the fence (the middle).
Chris Saad praises Twitter" 1. It's dead simple. 2. It has lots of great people on it."
Scoble agrees, "Jaiku is better software than Twitter (more features) but Twitter is a better community. In this game community wins!"
Yes. They're both right. But, I believe they're serving different groups.
Twitter is simple and it's beautiful that way. And its community is well established and some of the most amazing people thrive from reading and sharing information through the Web, mobile text, IM, etc.
Jaiku is a bit more involved. For one, it's almost a profile aggregator of sorts, allowing you to bring in feeds from other sources, including Twitter, blogs, del.icio.us, flickr, etc., so that your updates traverse across your multiple online personae through one social, integrated personal stream (or flow). It also allows comments on individual posts to continue threaded conversations, which is better suited to those seeking more meaningful engagements and conversations - well as deep as a nanoblogging platform would allow (and promote).
I reached out to Jyri Engestrom and Petteri Koponen, co-founders of Jaiku to get their take on Twitter vs. Jaiku.
According to Engestrom, "Our goal's to bring people closer together by enabling them to share their stream of life: what they're doing, how they're feeling, where they're going. It combines activities from the real world with things they share online. The aim's to deliver this in a well-designed, fun package."
When I asked how it's unique, he responded with several key differentiators...
1) Jaiku doesn't spam you with texts (more control over who and what you follow)
2) It supports conversation better (threaded comments)
3) It can also be used from a free mobile application (better experience)
4) It looks cooler and supports icons & Flickr photos (more fun!)
5) It enables you to add your blog, photos, videos, bookmarks, and other Web feeds to your stream so you contacts can get an overview of the different things you've been up to
His answers only fuel my beliefs, that Jaiku is a completely different platform carrying genuie value to a different set of users who enjoy a richer feature-set. The only people fueling the debate are those on either side of the fence. Those in the middle, or those new to the new "everywhere" messaging landscape, will find value in both and join the service that most aligns with their routine, RSS feeds, profiles, and, of course, where their associates communicate regularly.
Now for the fun...
I documented highlights from the Twitter stream so that you can watch events unfold in real time. I'll update this as significant posts are shared...
Leo Laporte from Jaiku
I left Twitter with regret - but I have to say Jaiku has opened my eyes to what's possible. Twitter seems kind of barren to me now.
Scobleizer Jaiku is reacting slower than Twitter. It requires more clicks to see your messages than Twitter. And is more complicated. I never knew of it until today, which isn't saying much. What's cool about both of these is the people on them. NOT the technology."
Scobleizer Jaiku is lame compared to Twitter. Sorry, Web access is a MUST for these kind of things. Otherwise, I'd use Google's Dodgeball.
ChrisSaad @Scobleizer: Jaiku is totally different to Twitter
Scobleizer @ChrisSaad says Jaiku is totally different than Twitter. Fine. I can't deal with yet another one. Why not Google's Dodgeball?
Scobleizer Hmmm, now I'm on Jaiku too. http://scobleizer.jaiku.com/ I really hate being forced to be on two different services. This is better than IM
stoweboyd @scoble - jaiku is not 'threaded discussions' as you suggested at you account. It's another flow app, like Twitter.
Scobleizer @stoweboyd: but on my account at http://scobleizer.jaiku.com/ I see threaded discussions. Not like here on Twitter where everything is flat.
stoweboyd @scoble - although it does add the notion of comments.
Scobleizer Jaiku seems even slower than Twitter. I didn't think anything could make that so!
Scobleizer ...Twitter Wins! Leo loses.
ChrisSaad @Scobleizer: Jaiku has a different focus I believe - it's a lifestream creator. Pour all your personal RSS into it - not just Twitters
Scobleizer Jaiku is better software than Twitter (more features) but Twitter is a better community. In this game community wins!
Scobleizer Jaiku doesn't have an API yet, right? That's another sizeable stumbling block. And, Jaiku is having scaling issues with FAR less traffic.
Ross @scoble If more of my friends were using Nokias, I'd be on Jaiku instead
Rafe Jaiku? Sure, it's got the features, but why split this community?
briansolis @Rafe Is it splitting 1 community or does it have the opp to create its own - comprised of a whole diff set of users?
leolaporte I am worried about losing my trademark - Ev and I need to talk
Scobleizer Trademark law: if you don't defend your trademarks you give them up to public domain.
Scobleizer @Rafe: cause Leo is positioning for a trademark lawsuit against Twitter, according to his final Tweets.
Leo Laporte from Jaiku
Scoble is now the uncontested King of Twitter. Long live the King. (I'm glad Jaiku doesn't count followers!)
Scobleizer Simplicity of Twitter wins. To find new comments on Jaiku I gotta click on comments, just like on my blog. Sigh. Twitter's simplicity rock
Rafe i'll be damned if i'm going to update jaiku and twitter too... so trying lazy option: adding twitter feed to my jaiku acct.
Ross @rafe now all we need is jaiku to twitter: we can all get along
Rafe Is it possible Twitter and Jaiku will end up sharing users, instead of hoarding them like the IM services did early on?
jspepper @Rafe - no, I can't see that happen. It's still that user mentality.
Rafe I vote we lock Ev & Jyri (Jaiku) in a room until they agree to interconnect their systems.
Rafe @ross Fine, as long as twitter-jaiku (twitterku?) doesn't end up as an infinite twitter-jaiku-twitter-jaiku-etc feedback loop. noisy!
Follow me on Twitter and Jaiku.
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