My dilemma with Twitter and Jaiku is that I need to quit one, but can’t decide which. Jaiku is clearly the better product, but it’s impossible to turn most Twitter users onto it, mainly because they don’t know anyone else who uses it yet. Twitter came first, and for that reason alone it continues to beat out the best.
If you could only choose one, would you rather have free calls to any stranger in the world, or pay to call your friends? That’s really how big the gap between them is, and how hard it’ll be for Jaiku to catch up. That said, one of the joys of Jaiku for me has been the ability to update constantly, about silly and minor things, without having to feel guilty about causing several phones to beep in the middle of important meetings. That’s really the chief cause of my Twitter neglect. Guilt for being too noisy. On Jaiku it feels good to speak freely, and get away from being superconnected. I’ve also met a number of similarly-geeky strangers on Jaiku through the comments feature, but then I find myself asking if that was the point – essentially the question has always been the same: What Is Twitter For, Exactly?
Is it vanity blogging on a micro scale, eg. “Picking up lunch, hope it’s tasty!” directed to no one in particular? Is it a tool for letting friends know when something of interest comes up? Or following strangers/celebrities just to have one more stream of online information? I know it’s often all these things, but then, should it be? When all your messages are sent out to an unknown number of people, at least one of those uses is going to conflict with another.
I’m thinking now that I might just try an experiment with Twitter, and update it with the freedom and frequency that I have been doing with Jaiku. Putting the guilt aside, just to say what I want whenever I want, and to have it come up on the front page of my blog. It might get annoying, it might lead all my friends put me on silent. It might lead me to see that it’s pointless, and give me back a few minutes each day. It could motivate me to do different things, help me to see events for the linear progressions that they are, or just get me to tell more interesting stories while I’m at it, strictly out of some sense of conscience.
I’ve set my Twitter account to public mode now, in anticipation of moving over completely, but the Jaiku info above will stay for a little while longer, until I sort this completely asinine predicament out for my neurotic self.
PS: If you’re on a Mac and using Twitterific, ditch it. Thwirl (written in Adobe AIR) is much, much better.