Twitter is babble, Jaiku is mundane – so what?

Here we go again. We have just recovered from the Pear Analytics study that revealed that 40% of all tweets are pointless babble. And now there is a new study out that says micro blogging is “mundane”. Researchers from Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT), Google and Elisa have studied 400,000 updates on the Finnish micro blog Jaiku and the conclusions are that:

As a consequence of the pressure to publish, most postings are mundane; The top 5 most frequent postings are “working”, “home,” “work”, “lunch” and “sleeping”.

Jaiku is a shadow of what it used to be before Google bought it and then abandonded it but either way, what if researchers find that most micro blogs are used mainly for seemingly trivial content? The personal and sometimes trivial nature is just part of what makes social media “social”, in contrast to traditional media.

In Wikipedia the term “social” is described like this. “The adjective “social” implies that the verb or noun to which it is applied is somehow more communicative, cooperative, and moderated by contact with human beings, than if it were omitted.” That means that micro blogs have a social dimension to them that make them more humane, more personal and more private than other forms of media. And that is part of what makes social media so interesting in my view. Yet another form of traditional media would not have caused this online revolution that we currently are witnessing.

And in spite of all this nonsense, micro blogs still have an impact on many aspects of business and our private lives. There are plenty of examples of people that find breaking news stories on Twitter first, and then on traditional news sites. To take another example, Twitter has a Page Rank of 9, which makes it very influential. Information that is published on Twitter is placed high in a Google search for example. So when research from Pennsylvania State University suggest that 20% of all tweets are brand related, you can imagine the impact it has on a brand’s online reputation.

A large portion of the updates on micro blogs is probably quite trivial, but with about 21,000 tweets per minute, there is still enough important content to have a serious impact on the online community.

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Ruined in a day, or how the conversation left Jaiku

I may be wrong but you’re missing
There’s something wrong you could say
Ruined in a day”

The lyrics above are from Ruined In A Day by New Order, a tune that quickly sprang to mind when I watched the development of the micro blogging service Jaiku today. You see, I believe something has changed over the course of the weekend. A few days ago a new Swedish micro blog called Bloggy opened up for the public and the timing just could not have been better. With Google abandoning Jaiku and a wave of interest among both users and media for micro blogging in general, the market conditions were perfect for a local challenger to Twitter. And let’s face it, Google hasn’t done much to please us Jaiku lovers since they acquired the service in 2007. jaiku_logo

Now, I’m quite aware that Sweden is not the center of the social media universe, but the community that has grown around Jaiku has been very local and we affectionately call it “the bubble”. Our little bubble has been able to keep together and hold up well against the Twitter invasion, although many of us have chosen a schizophrenic approach with presence in both worlds. That is, until now.

During the weekend, Morris Packer, one of the influential Jaiku users in our bubble, suddenly proclaimed that he wanted to move from Jaiku to Bloggy. With the help of several positive articles about Bloggy in mainstream media, a flood of users joined Bloggy on Sunday and today, or at least they started following each other’s feeds in large numbers. That wouldn’t be any problem, but it seems that the transition to Bloggy has already had an effect on Jaiku. It has been very quiet today and instead of the usual buzz and commenting we have seen that people started to cross-post from Bloggy to Jaiku (notice the “” at the end of each post) and many of these posts are entirely without comments in the Jaiku feed. My guess is that people left comments on Bloggy instead but I have no proof to back up my claims.

bloggy jaiku

Of course it is still too soon to pull the plug on Jaiku but Jonas Leijon, the entrepreneur behind Bloggy, is completely integrated with the Swedish social media crowd and listens to the wishes of the users. A stark contrast to the absent owners of Jaiku.

Maybe it is just a sign of curiosity and people are trying out the new service. So I hope that I’m wrong because I’m not ready to move to a new service just yet. But if the trend continues I don’t see I have much choice, especially since Bloggy is developing rapidly with a bunch of nice features that Jaiku is lacking.

Either way, today Jaiku has been an empty shell. Will people return? Whatever the answer is, it is fascinating to study how little it takes for a whole community to shift to a new and cooler place.

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Jaiku passes 50 million posts

I use both Twitter and Jaiku, the microblogging tools, and I find them both very useful, but for different reasons. There is a small but very active Jaiku community with Swedish media media and marketing professionals, but I don’t see the same growth in my network on Jaiku as I do on Twitter.

Jaiku unofficially passed 50 million messages a few minutes ago, which is only five percent of the amount of tweets on Twitter, which reached a billion posts on Nov 11, 2008. But bear in mind that comments to each Jaiku post are not counted here. Since conversations on Jaiku are more active, almost like in a forum, in reality the activity level on Jaiku is higher. A very unscientific check of my own community shows that about 50 percent of the posts have comments (between 1 and 20 comments each). The most commented post on Jaiku currently has 533 comments.

Jaiku post #50,000,000 does not appear to be public.

Follow me on Jaiku at:
Follow me on Twitter at:

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Jaiku is back online and opens up to anyone

Jaiku, the microblogging site, has been down during the last five days due to server issues and a move to the Google data center. Five days is an enternity for a site like Jaiku and it has given us users some serious abstinence. We’ve gotten used to sharing ideas with each other, giving tips and discussing different topics. Without Jaiku the discussion tried to move elsewhere to places like FriendFeed or Twitter, but it wasn’t really the same thing.

When Jaiku now is back online it has opened up to everyone. Previously you had to get an invite, which were limited, by an existing user. Now there are unlimited invites so anyone can register. It will be interesting to see if the discussion among my existing friends will pick up on the same level as last week and if we will see an onrush of new users. If so, will Jaiku be able to handle the increase in traffic?

Footnote: You will find me here on Jaiku.

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Brands on Twitter and Jaiku

More and more businesses and organizations are on Twitter, the micro-blogging site. Fluent Simplicity has a long list of brands on Twitter. My employer, Burson-Marsteller, is not on the list but can be found on I can also add NRK and GCI Communique, both from Norway.

So, who’s on Jaiku? Let’s create a list, I suspect it will be pretty short. This is what I’ve got so far. Add more in the comments or by email.


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Jaiku page hits top ten in Google in less than a month

jaiku_logo I share my last name with 109 other people in Sweden, so it’s not very common. And although my blog, which has a decent page rank, is published on the domain, it is not ranked #1 in a Google search (it is #2 and has been for some time). The reason is probably that I have chosen not to name the blog after myself and instead call it Media Culpa. But what fascinated me when I made a vanity search on my name today was how fast my Jaiku page has climbed in the Google results. I have only been active on the micro blogging site Jaiku for less than a month and my page on Jaiku is already #6 on In fact, the top 100 results are full of different pointers to my presence on Jaiku and it beats my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles by miles. The first Twitter reference clocks in just shy of #90.

So what? Well, first of all it strikes me how much better Jaiku performs compared to Twitter, in SEO terms. The amateur analysis is that this is an effect of the way the URLs are designed. Google rates higher than since the former is considered a sub-domain (please correct me if this is not the case). There are probably other reasons too, of course (could there be a language parameter involved since I write in Swedish on Jaiku and in English on Twitter?).

My second thought is that it once again shows how well different forms of social media/user generated content ranks in search engines. Previously we have talked a lot about blogs and wikis in the search results, but we obviously have to look closely also at micro blogs. Social media monitoring is already complex and it evolves quickly. So companies that want to monitor their brands constantly need to tweak their monitoring tools. If they are listening at all, that is.

Footnote: Google owns Jaiku.

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