There's a big trend currently sweeping though the Nordic and Baltic countries. This is not a new phenomena for those who have been following what has been going on with the Internet, but it seems that the bigger public has been hit in the head with it and now doesn't really know what to think of it. Internet is becoming more social and most of everybody seem to be lost on what it really means.
A symptom of this is the social media consultants of all kinds that supposedly give advice the companies that have been hit to get their head around what the social Internet really means for them. Unfortunately very few of these social media experts advising the companies really understand what a more social Internet means, where it's going and what's its real promise for the whole civilization in the long run (more on this in the video below). There's more to social Internet than creating Product pages for companies on Facebook, telling them they need to be on Twitter and hiring students to become community managers.
We just heard yesterday that Jyri Engeström, Jaiku co-founder, is leaving his Product Manager job at Google after his two year earn out is up. Today Petteri Koponen, the other Jaiku co-founder announced that he is leaving Google and joining Lifeline Ventures, a Finnish startup accelerator that's part of the Vigo program (See our previous stories on Lifeline Venture here and here).
This not such a big jump as Petteri worked at Google in a wide variety of roles that gave him an ideal view into what was happening in the market. First Petteri worked at the Android product team and subsequently on Google's New Business team, which continuously searches for and works with startups that partner with Google. It's exciting to follow how the Vigo program evolves. At least Lifeline Ventures seem to be already hard at work. Petteri told me that they have already done some investments even though the whole program is just coming together.
Check, check... mike working, reporting from the Mindtrek conference from Tampere where some 800 people are networking, discussing internet and digital media at large. The day has been action packed and there has been a lot of different content to consume. Furthermore, the audience saw some top notch speakers at Mindtrek this year, especially Chris Messina and Jyri Engeström, who were keynote speakers continuing on the post they wrote for ArcticStartup earlier.
The day began with a keynote by Chris Messina. He talked about identity as a platform. Judging on the amount of comments from people on the aisles in the conference, Chris hit top on with his presentation. Although there were some illogicalities, which he admits, it's always great to hear news from The Valley on the trends that are pumping there.
Around 2003, things began to change.
Technology was then the black sheep, having left overnight millionaires destitute and without change to afford their $4 lattes. Even the posers had left San Francisco and gone back to suburbia to be office managers at Walmart.
It was a sad time for everyone — that is, except the die-hards and the hackers. The web for them had never been about making money, but about reshaping culture and toppling the old order. 2003, therefore, was the perfect time for a resurgence: the people who kept pushing on in the Valley and elsewhere were a concentrated motley crew of innovators and builders. They cared about technology for technology's sake and about developing and advancing web culture.
What they didn’t realize, however, was that the services and technologies that they were destined to build would need to be cobbled and sewn together using a system that would fight them every step of the way — not out of spite — but because of its architecture. By definition the network available was decidedly anti-human: in 2003, there was only the document-centric web.
The latest storm from the world of Nordic microblogging got me thinking a lot about Jaiku, Twitter, FriendFeed, the microblogging in general and the Open Stack that's trying to open up the silos, not just in microblogging, but the social web in large. We are looking into reaching the point where, just as Jyri Engeström put it, "[n]o single service, no matter how large and powerful, is the platform. The Web is the platform"
Now Many have realized that Twitter, which was competing head on with Jaiku and has won that race for now, should allow the service to develop towards what Jaiku did right when it launched, namely enable conversations. I believe those two services are different and perhaps should remain so and just talk to each other via open standards such as XMPP or an XMPP equivalent. Therefore I am not advocating Twitter becoming more Jaiku-like. Twitter should have its own future trajectory. What I am very strongly advocating is for the heavy users of FriendFeed and Twitter to start using Jaiku, the one service that does what services and apps using Twitter API are increasingly trying to do. TweeTree being the most recent example of that. Do I have a vested intrested in this? You can bet on it! I strongly believe Jaiku is a better service to engage in meaningful conversations and I am in Jaiku, but many people I would like to converse with are not.
Below Chris Messina below outlines his vision on where he sees activity streams going. He notes that activity streams need a "[l]ocation and context attached to or as attributes of social objects that are being created" and not just a lonely tweet which is not connected to anything. As Chris mentions in the video below [8min 27 sec into it], this is where Jaiku started from. Now we just need to get Google to realize the value it has in Jaiku and let Jyri & Co. to develop Jaiku further by incorporating filtering (by actor, action, social object, place, time, etc.), fast feed fetching, opening it up for the world to use and develop and voilá. Compare this to the #hashtags, which is about the only thing you can use to put your Tweet into a relevant context. This is really nothing but a poor hack compared to what Jaiku already can do for the conversations.
Since we are not yet living in a world where all the silos are broken and all the services can talk to each other, I think the Silicon Valley digerati should pull their heads from the California sand, see beyond their Valley bubble and give (yet again) Jaiku collectively a try to realize its value instead of complaining how the Twitter-cum-Jaiku attempts don't work. Yes it's closed, but the invitations are unlimited and I'm sure most of the microblogging heavy users already have an account. If not, I will personally send an invitation to anyone asking for one (you can email me at ville [at] arcticstartup.com). Twitter has the critical mass, but Jaiku still kicks its ass any day as a service to have meaningful conversations in. Since Twitter is not going to become Jaiku any time soon we all should give Jaiku another try. Struggling with two services is a drag, but things are changing fast, and once the users are there, Jaiku and Twitter can complement each other until the two services can openly talk to each other - or until a better option emerges.
Jaiku needs its critical mass and it needs to grow to become truly relevant to link people globally. I am advocating people to move there not only because I or some other people are there, but for the purposes of having conversations, it is a far better service than Twitter or FriendFeed. We should see and use the two services as the different services that they are, just as Eat.fi's founder @Spongefile commented here:
Jaiku is like a constant huge cocktail party hosted by your friends with interesting conversations to drop in on with semi-strangers.
Twitter is like getting constant voicemail from everyone you know. You can reply via the same method, but that's no way to communicate.
So how about it Scoble? While we wait for the silos to come down, shall I send you a Jaiku invite?