The Joy of Ku: Jaiku unwrapped

James Whatley lives on Jaiku. I don’t think they’ve got a more prolific or exacting user. He really does spend a lot of his real time existence living through the service — which is why there is, perhaps, no one better qualified to give you a perspective on the Joy of Ku.

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I’ve been meaning to write this piece for a while now. In fact, ever since Google made that purchase last year the whole blogosphere has been falling over itself trying to figure out exactly what Google intend to do with their now five-month-old purchase.

I had an eye on eventually contributing to this but by the time I got round to it, most of the good stuff had already been covered. Notably this piece by Jonathan Mulholland (“What Google has planned for Jaiku“).

Then there were the series of posts at the beginning of the year regarding the spate of errors/downtime that Jaiku kept throwing up – (downtime, by the way, is merely par the course for your average Twitter user… But we’ll leave that one there for now).

Again – this was aptly covered by someone else here (“Jaiku users flee to Twitter as a result of Google neglect“) and yet again ably kicked back by our friend Mr Mulholland (“Think Jaiku is loosing to Twitter? Wait ’til Android devices start shipping“).

(Damn he’s good)

So, what am I going to write about?

First off – without presuming too much – a brief explanation:

What is Jaiku?

* Micro-blogging (like twitter)
* Limited to 140 characters (like Twitter) to your first ‘Jaiku’
* Jaikus start threaded conversations (unlike Twitter) with no character limit (unlike Twitter)
* Jaiku also enables ‘Presence’ from your S60 handset: Location + Phone Profile + Latest Jaiku
* Jaiku as a feed aggregator – pulling in all your feeds into one single ‘life stream’
* An ‘active’ contacts book, when futurists debate the address book as being key to any user’s daily life, Jaiku is often looked upon as leading the way
* And above all, a community…

That’s that covered. So what now?

Right, well – and there’s definite sleeves rolling up going on here – thing is, since the Google buy-out, Jaiku has become ‘closed’ – aka ‘invitation only’.


However another thing is – every user gets ten invites. EVERY user gets ten. If you’ve been there since the beginning or if you signed up an hour ago, ten invites is what you get.

So some clever chaps over at Weeno Media cracked onto this and thought that they’d play Google at their own game (remember Gmail invites folks?).

And their variant of this game?

What’s it for?

Well the clue is in the name. Jaiku Invites.

You need one? Let them know.

You got some to share? Let them know.

They do the hard part in the background and link up those that need them with those that have them spare.

Supply meets Demand. Magic.

Why the big fuss? Well this is kinda cool.

I’m using this space to tell you about this website because I want YOU to go and sign up for Jaiku RIGHT NOW.

Over the coming weeks I’m going to be going into what it is exactly I love about this service.

There are many, MANY reasons.

Is it the community? The threaded nature of conversation maybe?

What about the ‘presence’ enabled S60 application? Ahead of it’s time when it comes to true life-streaming.

Then there’s the different ways to contribute to the site itself, (text/app/web/m.web), every one of them having their own plus/minus points. They each deserve a mention too.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I’ve been trying to write a piece about my love affair with Jaiku for some time now.

Each time getting halfway through and realising I’ve gone completely off-piste and spend the next 15mins fighting my way back to the point, (see this post on my VOX for a perfect example).

So I’ve decided to break it up a bit. Consider it a bit like a book club.

I’ve told you about Jaiku, I’ve told you I love it, I’ve told you how to go and get it.

Next week I’ll tell you what is so bloody great about it… (if you haven’t worked it out already)

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You can add Whatley as a friend by visiting him at — and you can get SMS Text News updates at

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