It's been a little over a year since the Jaiku team and I joined Google.

My time has mainly been spent building infrastructure that makes it easier to share social objects on Google's Web and mobile services.

Some of the pieces of this infrastructure are really basic. For instance, I've worked with the team that built a profile page for Google users (mine is here). If you are using google.com in English, you can now access your profile by clicking on My Account.

For more on profiles, see Duncan Riley's recent post on TechCrunch.

Another piece of the puzzle has been to enable people to share social objects with the contacts in their address book. Gmail now lets you organize your contacts to Friends, Family, and Co-Workers. You can then share items on Google Reader with your Friends group. You will see these same groups in various Google products that let you share information with people. If you own a G1 phone you know those same contacts are also synced to the mobile phonebook.

I also helped Brad Fitzpatrick launch the Social Graph API. Although this API is not a visible product, it powers many services such as the suggested links on your Google profile. Collaborating with Brad has been one of my delights of the year, since I had wanted to work with him on the social graph problem already before either one of us joined Google.

Jaiku has been a 20% project, meaning it has been getting about one day a week of my time.

Over the last few days a conversation about the future of Jaiku has been taking place on blogs (relevant posts in English here, here, here, and here) and Jaiku (current active threads here, here, here). I regard the Jaiku community as friends, and your concern about the future of the service is legitimate. It warrants a response. What follows is my personal angle.

We announced this spring on the Jaiku blog that Jaiku will be ported to Google App Engine. Since the porting has not been a full time project, and development involves working on a still maturing new infrastructure as well as maintaining the legacy site, its velocity has not been as high as I had hoped. That said, we're on schedule and expecting to ship in the new year.

Google isn't staffing up Jaiku.com. But we love the product and plan to open up its development to the user community more in the future. I'm not ready to talk about the details yet, so stay tuned for more news about that in the new year on Jaiku.

This is a step in the direction we all want to go: away from the
tyranny of silos towards freely interoperable social
networks. People should be able to post and follow status updates across servers just like they send email. No single service, no matter how large and powerful, is the platform. The Web is the platform.

In spite of the decision to not throw resources at building Jaiku into an independent Web brand, recall that the acquisition announcement stated that "Activity streams and mobile presence are important areas where we believe Google can add a lot of value for users." Of course this statement still holds true, and you can bet your Android that there are completely new Wow!'s in store.

I hope that after reading this you, like me, are getting more and more tickled by what 2009 has to bring.

And now that Ulla and I are done having kids for a while, my new year's promise is to also return to blogging.

Comments

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Elmine Wijnia
December 17th, 2008 at 5:10 am (#)

Thanks for your update Jyri. Much appreciated!

James Whatley
December 17th, 2008 at 5:17 am (#)

Great stuff Jyri…
(Belated congrats on Baby #2 btw!)
..thanks for the update and best wishes for the new year my friend. Hope to catch up soon.
J.

Antti Vilpponen
December 17th, 2008 at 5:25 am (#)

Hey Jyri, big up for the update on a lot of things. Glad to hear things are going well on the west coast as well.
Would love to read more of your blog posts, looking forwards to that in 2009!

Ville Vesterinen
December 17th, 2008 at 5:30 am (#)

Thank you for the update Jyri! I, for one, got the taste of how strong a group of friends the Jaiku community is and how passionately they will stick up for their service given they know what is happening to it.
I’ll be sure to keep making my Android bets also in the future and following where you guys are going. Godspeed to the whole team!

Jonas Nockert
December 17th, 2008 at 5:32 am (#)

Thanks for the update Jyri!
In regards to “[b]ut we love the product and plan to open up its development to the user community more in the future” — let me know if I can help out in any way.
Thanks for this year and keeping Jaiku up and running to the extent you’ve been able to.
/Jonas Nockert (@lemonad and #jaikungfu)

gerrymoth
December 17th, 2008 at 5:35 am (#)

I do hope we see Jaiku going forward as I still see it as the best social network for actual interactive chat and it still has the best people on it.

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
December 17th, 2008 at 5:56 am (#)

Thanks for the update! I’m sure a lot of people were ready to give up on Jaiku. This will give us all something to look forward to.
One thing; you wrote: “No single service, no matter how large and powerful, is the platform. The Web is the platform.”
Are you talking about Google or Twitter there? Does that sentence apply to both? Just wondering…

Kari Haakana
December 17th, 2008 at 6:01 am (#)

Thanks for the update! I really really hope that Jaiku will be developed to it’s full potential.

Janne Saarikko (@jsaarikko)
December 17th, 2008 at 6:09 am (#)

Thanks Jyri!
Your post is very reliefing. I hope people will stop making their plan Bs and return to Jaiku bringing some of the tweeters along.
Looking forward to see the API opening up and other wows.
Hyvää joulua ja uutta vuotta!
Joulupukki

Jyri Engestrom
December 17th, 2008 at 6:14 am (#)

@Boris The Web as platform point applies equally to all services. It’s very much a borrowed term: I liked the way Tim O’Reilly formulated the argument in 2005. Google Execs also use it. My boss Vic Gundotra defended it at a panel at Web 2.0 Summit last month.

AG
December 17th, 2008 at 7:32 am (#)

I celebrate your successes – yours, Ulla’s, the family’s – and you *know* I commiserate with your less felicitous findings. Best wishes for a banner year in 2009!

Jyri Engestrom
December 17th, 2008 at 9:13 am (#)

Jonas, thanks for your interest in contributing to the development of Jaiku. We’re working to enable you and other developers to participate. If you’re not already on the devku channel, please join it if you’d like to get updates when we have more information to announce.

Ulrik Høyer Kold (@ulrikkold)
December 17th, 2008 at 2:42 pm (#)

Uuh, that’s good news for all of us :-) Thanks a lot for the update.

Alex Leonard
December 17th, 2008 at 2:42 pm (#)

Absolutely great to hear your own thoughts on how things might go in the coming year and certainly very relieving as there have been a lot of rumblings of late that Jaiku as a whole was just going to vanish off the map, which would definitely had made a lot of people very sad.
Congrats again on your new arrival and have a great Christmas and an excellent 2009.

Petri Kola
December 18th, 2008 at 3:48 pm (#)

It’s great to hear from you Jyri!
I’m really happy that the days of Jaiku have not yet been counted. Your service and your work in promoting conversation culture have planted seeds for big changes in Finnish organizational & governance culture. The fruits of the Finnish Jaiku community will become fully visible years from now but following the process from a very short distance and meeting people personally I can tell you that big changes are on their way.
Thank you
ps. I wrote a blog comment partly detailing the uniqueness of the Finnish Jaiku community http://tinyurl.com/4tc6cx

kozmetik
August 30th, 2009 at 12:53 am (#)

Finnish Jaiku community

ayakkabı
June 25th, 2011 at 11:56 am (#)

Uuh, that’s good news for all of us :-) Thanks a lot for the update.

eczane
September 7th, 2011 at 12:55 pm (#)

Uuh, that’s good news for all of us :-) Thanks a lot for the update.

ayakkabı
October 18th, 2011 at 1:15 pm (#)

Finnish Jaiku community

online alışveriş
November 21st, 2011 at 10:38 am (#)

Thanks for the update! I really really hope that Jaiku will be developed to it’s full potential.

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