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30
April
2009

Top 5 Micro blogging services

While blogging is for somebody who has time, patience and has some expertise in certain field, microblogging is for everybody in general.It's faster, easier, less time consuming, and has immediate rewards.Comparing these two is not fair (its like comparing apples with grapes Laughing)

In this article I want to focus on just microblogging, its advantages and some of the top microblogging services that we have today.

Micro-blogging is a form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, digital audio or the web. The content of a micro-blog differs from a traditional blog in that it is typically smaller in actual size and aggregate file size. A single entry could consist of a single sentence or fragment or an image or a brief, ten second video. But, still, its purpose is similar to that of a traditional blog. Users micro-blog about particular topics that can range from the simple, such as "what one is doing at a given moment," to the thematic, such as "sports cars," to business topics, such as particular products. Many micro-blogs provide short commentary on a person-to-person level, share news about a company's products and services, or provide logs of the events of one's life. The appeal of microblogging is both its immediacy and portability. Posts are brief (typically 140 – 200 characters) and can be written or received with a variety of computing devices, including cell phones.

With this brief introduction, lets see at some of the popular microblogging web services available today.


 
 
Twitter: Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user's profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers). Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow anybody to access them. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. The service is free to use over the Internet, but using SMS may incur phone service provider fees.

Twitter's popularity is increasing exponentially every month and its seeing alarmingly increasing new users with every passing day.The race between Ashton Kutcher and cnnbrk, Oprah Whitney embracing twitter publicly on her show etc have helped further in attracting new registrations for twitter service. Personally I have started using twitter service from last couple of months and am simply loving it.The best part of twitter is that there are so many new twitter clients/services (web,desktop and mobile) that helps you to use twitter in a better and more efficient way.Some examples of these kind of services are Twirl,Twitterrific,Twit,TwitterFox etc. Just to get an idea of how the twitter popularity is increasing, the unique visitors for twitter is increased 76.83% in one month and a whopping 1,202% in one year. Achieving this kind of growth is something unthinkable! Per compete it has seen 14,031,985 unique visitors in the month of March 2009

FriendFeed - FriendFeed is a real-time feed aggregator that consolidates the updates from social media and social networking websites, social bookmarking websites, blogs and micro-blogging updates, as well as any other type of RSS/ Atom feed. Users can use this stream of information to create customized feeds to share (and comment) with friends.[1] The goal of FriendFeed according to their website is to make content on the Web more relevant and useful for you by using your existing social network as a tool for discovering interesting information. Users can be an individual, business or organization.

Though friendfeed is not as popular as twitter nor its growing at that rate, its still the second most popular microblogging site in terms of unique visitors.It has seen a growth of 5.71% in last one month and 520% in last one year. According to compete it has seen 926,651 unique visitors in the month of March 2009
Plurk: Plurk is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates (otherwise known as plurks) through short messages or links, which can be up to 140 text characters in length.

Updates are then shown on the user's home page using a timeline which lists all the updates received in chronological order, and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Users can respond to other users' updates from their timeline through the Plurk.com website, by instant messaging, or by text messaging.Plurk also has seen a decent growth of 125% in last one year and 17.32% in last one month. According to compete it has seen 277,030 unique visitors in the month of March 2009

identi.ca : Identi.ca is an open source social networking and micro-blogging service. Based on Laconica, a micro-blogging software package built on the OpenMicroBlogging specification, users may send text updates ("dents[1][2]") up to 140 characters long in a similar way to Twitter. The service supports XMPP and allows free export and exchange of personal and "friend" data based on the FOAF standard. This means that dents can be fed in to a Twitter account or other service, and also ported in to a private system similar to Yammer.

The service received over 8,000 registrations and 19,000 updates within the first 24 hours of publicly launching[4], and reached its 1,000,000th dent on November 4, 2008.[5] In January of 2009, identi.ca received investment funds from a Montreal-based venture capital group.[3] As a result of this, an upgrade and new design was launched on 23 January 2009. A new feature in Identi.ca are groups which can be created for gathering dents on a particular topicIdenti.ca has seen a monthly growth of 10.32% in March 2009 and has 70,196 unique visitors according to compete.

Jaiku: Jaiku is a micro-blogging social networking website that allows users to post their thoughts, comments, and opinions regarding their lives or anything in general. User posts are referred to as “Jaikus” and can be made either public or private. Specifically, individuals can keep in constant touch with friends by checking friends’ profiles and by posting new updates (including photos) to their own stream of Jaikus. Jaiku can now be used to keep in touch via the web and even on mobile phones (currently compatible with the Nokia S60). The extension of Jaiku to mobile phones was made possible by the develpoment of a widget recently introduced in June 2007. Also, in Beta version, Channels is another interesting public feature that allows multiple people to post to the same Jaiku stream. The product thus has appeal for both public and private users. Ultimately, Jaiku’s emergence has made it possible for people to stay more connected, but the site is not revolutionary given the initial existence of services like Twitter. Jaiku was purchased by Google on October 9, 2007.

Jaiku has seen an amazing growth of +110.45% in last one month and a growth of 190% in last one year per compete. In March 2009, it had 34,829 unique visitors, a comparatively less number.
 
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Compete provides the following graph that compares the growth of these services in terms of unique visitors for last one year.
 
 
 
I have used various definitions and descriptions given in wikipedia for this post.
 

Author: pradeep