Saturday, May 12, 2007


The microblogging space is expanding.

Microblogging, which is the blogging equivalent of a news flash, that is one is given 140 characters to describe current status and/or activities, has a new player on the scene.

Besides the hugely popular (and growing) Twitter service, there is Jaiku, a Finnish-based service offering the same microblogging capabilities but with a few more extra features, including importing blogs, RSS feeds, photos, videos, etc. I like Jaiku, but I find these extra features a little too much for a microblogging tool. Time will tell if this concept will catch on.

I suspect that Twitter will eventually add more functionality to Twitter. But I would recommend that they take it slow. I think most users, like myself, are still trying to figure out the real value of this tool. I am convinced there is something here, but like most Web 2.0 beta / gamma productions, the participation and creativeness of the consumer typically defines the purpose of the product.

For those who are just starting using Twitter (or Jaiku), I suggest using the tool as a personal "news flash" system. Here are a few examples that I have seen from fellow Twitters.

1. Notification: Notify users about an update to your blog or website
2. Invitation: Invite users to join you for an online event such as a virtual meeting in Second Life or a live broadcast on
3. Share: Sharing thoughts, activities. You never know who may read it and comment back.

Have more ideas? Please share.

For more information, the UMBC eBiquity blog provides a very comprehensive overview of microblogging.

The debate will continue over the "real" value of microblogging. In the meantime, open an account and dip your toes into the water.

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about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.