Signs of Life at Jaiku: Does it Matter?

Jaiku | Overview - Mozilla Firefox (Build 2008070206)Microblogging service Jaiku is suddenly showing signs of life again – for the first time since its acquisition by Google back in January. After a few days offline, they returned with a blog entry and a couple of announcements: Jaiku is now running in one of Google’s data centers (though apparently the long-promised port to App Engine is not yet done), and they’ve opened up invitations. Though there’s still no open signup, any Jaiku member can invite an unlimited number of new members.

But the question has to be asked: does it matter? If Jaiku had managed to reopen with fanfare a month or two back, when Twitter was having severe uptime problems, it might have stolen the microblogging spotlight. Now, though, with Twitter humming along smoothly, it seems destined to be just another also-ran. While I won’t rule out the possibility of exciting innovations (or the traffic boost that could come from things like integration with existing Google accounts), it remains true that the leading service is the one where conversations are already taking place.