JHB March Tweetup Recap

Fun at a meet

I enjoy social networking; it allows me to keep in touch with friends, family, and sometimes complete strangers relatively easily from the comfort of my desk.

I love meeting people; As much as social networks keep me in contact with my friends when I am stuck behind my desk, I still crave the interaction of actually meeting someone face-to-face and chatting about life over a coffee or a beer.

Going to the Twitter meet at The Baron in Santon last night was definitely the most fun way to meet the like minded souls I know online, get the face-to-face interaction I crave and as an added bonus I got to meet a whole bunch of new and interesting people and play with a couple of cool gadgets.

One of the cute/fun gadgets that floated around the table during the evening were the social contact sharing Poken devices, which I believe are only recently trying to make a mark in the South African scene. The Poken is a small USB / RFID reader that can “high-five” another Poken device, thereby transferring your pre-selected social network contact details to the other Poken.

The whole process is a much quicker and easier (albeit geekier) way to share contacts than trying to figure out how to spell a Twitter username into your phone or even trying to save a phone number (I remember the days I tried to get a number in a noisy club and couldn’t hear a word that was said).

When you get home, you plug in the USB portion of the Poken and it will update your selected online social network with the details of all the users you high-fived during the night.
Panda Poken
I recall that the panda and the bee versions were popular among the ladies at the tweetup, and if you have a unique design, and have a need for a few extra Poken (say for corporate gifts) then you can get your own unique Poken design made.

The venue and service was good, even with us moving around a few times and being with some rain it didn’t bother us too much.

I had an absolute blast meeting and chatting with @SheBeeGee, @SnowGooseSA, @nickjackson, @Walterpike, @snappingturtle and our guest of honour from Cape Town @gabyrosario. I will definitely set time aside to get to a meet like that again.

Thank you all.

My pictures of the event are up on my flickr page and I will link to @craign’s photos as soon as he puts them online here and here .

Go here if you are interested in buying any Poken in SA.

UPDATE: Heidi has added her update of the evening on her website. A little more articulate than my post.

Twitter VS Jaiku

Jaiku LogoWhen people talk about the number of fans Leo Laporte of TWiT has you don’t really comprehend the numbers until he posts something like this and the majority of his ‘TWiT Army’ decideds to follow suit.

twitter logo Late last night I watched this effect first hand as people read Leo’s post and created Jaiku accounts, I watched as the Jaiku developers scrambled for their notebooks to make changes to cater for this mass mobilisation to their network. Jaiku wasn’t ready for this, but they managed, and they still seem to be going fine.

Now for the comparisson.

Twitter is fast, and allows for multiple notification options (IM, web and Mobile), currently Jaiku only offers email notifications, but seems just as fast.
– A debatable difference, but I prefer the look of Jaiku, twitter has always seemed half done to me.
– Comments are definitely done better in Jaiku, although just as confusing as twitter when reading the public timeline / post list.
– I currently prefer the twitter badges for my blog, people are able to view more than just one of my posts from twitter. Jaiku allows only one.
– Jaiku offers icons to go along with your posts; this is a neat little feature to add some emphasis to some of my posts.
– Currently there are more desktop utilities for twitter.
– There is no way to view how many followers I have in Jaiku, yes this prevents follower envy (something that has formed in twitter) but having this feature for private viewing only may be a good idea for the Jaiku developers to add.
– The feeds feature in Jaiku is great, I can even add twitter feeds, so if I want to carry on viewing what my non-moving friends are doing on twitter, I add the feed and viola – I get the tweets.

Conclusion:
I believe that twitter has a large enough fan base to maintain afloat, this wont kill it (yet?), and those movers that are sceptical of Jaiku because of missing feature will have their doubts quelled when Jaiku releases similar tools. I think this move by Leo fans has been huge for any site to take, (losing or gaining) and the next couple of weeks will see if there is a clear winner, or a begrudging tie.

Baaaaaaaaa…

Not a day after I listen to a TWiT podcast almost entirely about Twitter, and about 20 minutes after I read an article about the huge uptake of Twitter, does Tom, one of my close friends, invite me to it.

I feel a bit like a sheep. With a MySpace account (Which I never use), a LiveJournal account (which I should update more often), a Blog, a Virb Account, a Flickr account, a YouTube account and a Digg account…

Ok, I’m not part of every single Web 2.0 social network available and I AM part of the web 2.0 generation, so it is sort of a given that I belong to a few of these sites; I mean, feeling a little like a sheep following the flock didn’t stop me from joining the club. Maybe I should start my own social network, maybe my idea will take off and make money for me too.

Thanks to Leo for warning me about the mobile phone bill… before I activated the feature in Twitter.