Life streams and Jaiku
After I wrote about mashing up RSS feeds to create a sort of life stream, some people have taken this idea and run with it. Probably my favourite implementation is Deliciously Meta from Steve Ivy, which looks very classy. For Wordpress users, Chris J. Davis has created a plug-in. Check out his own life stream to see it in action.
Just the other day, I came across a site which allows you to create a life stream by entering a series of URLs. The site is Jaiku.
Jaiku is a Finnish competitor to Twitter—with the added benefit of a life stream thrown in. You send the site little updates of what you’re doing (via the Web or mobile) and you track what your friends are up to.
In many ways, Jaiku is superior to Twitter. It certainly looks a lot better. It feels snappier. The markup is clean. There’s also a dedicated mobile client for Nokia smart phones. All in all, it’s a slick, fun site.
And yet… simply by virtue of the fact that I discovered it after Twitter, I’m unlikely to use Jaiku as much. It all comes back to the issue of creating yet another network of friends on yet another social networking site: I don’t feel very motivated to do it and I suspect that none of my contacts on Twitter relish the prospect either.
Khoi posited the idea that the exclusivity of social networks may be a feature, not a bug. That may be true to a certain extent. On Last.fm, my criteria for adding a contact is not just my relationship with that person, but also whether or not they have crappy taste in music. On Twitter, I only add people I’ve met in real life. Perhaps I’ll end up using Jaiku for a limited subset of people I know: maybe I’ll use it just for tracking my Central European Tribe comrades.
But what I really want is to be able to take all my friends from Twitter and quickly and easily port them over to Jaiku. Alas, in the absence of hCard and XFN on Twitter, this seems unlikely. A movement in the other direction seems more likely given that Jaiku is using hCard.
Meanwhile, I could kill two birds with one stone and add my RSS feed from Twitter to my life stream on Jaiku. That way, every time I post to Twitter, it would show up on Jaiku. I wonder if that would constitute “gaming” the system?
If I wanted to game the system in a harmless but fun way, I could have some fun with the query string on Jaiku and post the results to Flickr.