Co-presence seems to be really hot these days. Since Elger told me about Jaiku, and André invited me to Twitter, which are apart from some features basically identical, I joined both to see what all the fuzz was all about.
For people who have never heard of Twitter or Jaiku, let alone co-presence, a short introduction. Using my Twitter or Jaiku account, I can let the world know what I’m doing by one simple message. For instance, If I’m going out for a beer, I can send an SMS to Twitter or Jaiku, which will be instantly visible on my personal page. So far not much interesting, but that’s where the social aspect of these systems come into play: others may “follow” me, so they are updated whenever I change my status. This way I know that André and Liang are keeping a gameparty today, and they know I won’t be attending, because I’m supposed to be studying right now. The blogosphere in the pocket of your pants.
So far the introduction, let’s compare. Both Twitter and Jaiku provide an API for reading messages for usage in third party applications. Posting message is possible on both systems via the web and via SMS. Twitter also allows updates via IM and a mobile webpage, while Jaiku has a fancy Nokia-application and soon a java-alternative for other cellphones. Moreover, Jaiku has a feature that allows you to link blogs, del.icio.us, last.fm and other personal streams to your profile. This makes Jaiku more of a personal aggregator, collecting snapshots of one’s personal life, while Twitter remains a simple and effective tool for exchanging status messages.
There is much to say for both. Maybe Jaiku turns out to be the better of two, maybe it will be Twitter. No matter how it plays out, noone likes doing everything twice. One solution might be creating an application which does this for you. Someone already did so: it’s called TwitKu. An other solution could be adding Twitter’s RSS-feed to Jaiku. This is how I’ll be doing it. At least, until I think of something better.
For those interested, here are my two profiles: