Recently Jaiku has released a mobile client for S60 3rd edition, and I finally was able to try it out.
What is Jaiku? In short – it is a social networking service developed by a startup comany co-founded by Jyri Engeström. As Jaiku’s website states: "Jaiku’s main goal is to bring people closer together by enabling them to share their presence."
Downloading and installing a mobile application was really simple. It all started with an SMS with a download link I recieved on my N95. Installation and configuration process were combined, so I just had to answer a few simple questions instead of having to navigate through the numerous settings to figure out if I am sharing something that I haven’t intended to. Implementation is absolutely brilliant, this is the example of how mobile applications installation should work.
Mobile application is really nice, it follows S60 UI guidelines and neatly extends them when necessary, so you don’t have to learn new tricks when using it. Jaiku mobile not only allows you to enter your presence state manually, but also collects and shares some information automatically.
It takes into account and shares your phone’s profile (silent, meeting, general), when you last used your phone, calendar information, location (which is tracked by cellid and you can name locations yourself, however countries are detected automatically) and number of bluetooth devices around. Privacy concerns have been taken into account as well – you can choose how much information you share, so that you will not be breaching corporate security rules by broadcasting names of all your meetings.
The service is indeed really good for casual communication and creating and expanding social networks, as long as you are active enough to use it regularily. I got few colleagues to install JAiku on their phones and multimedia computers, and I think everybody agreed that this is a fun way to keep in touch.
Since Jaiku enables you to browse friends’ contacts – it also taps into domain of LinkedIn-like services and potentially enables building professional networks, provided that enough people in your profession are technically savvy enough to use it while it is still in beta.
I can see a great future in social networking services and merged with capabilities of mobile devices. Way to go, Jaiku!
P.S. A good read on mobile presence "Presence Red Herring" by Stephen Johnston.