Jelly Aardvark


I’m going to be careful not to be dismissive of Jelly if only because last time some of the Twitter founders launched something new I thought it sounded pretty dull and would never find an audience and now Medium seems to be growing like a weed (I was right about Branch though I think!).

A few years ago there was a service called Aardvark (that eventually got snapped up by Google) that I found interesting that seems superficially similar to Jelly though lacking the mobile element (superficial is a key word here actually – the information on the website really is pretty useless and looks/sounds/reads like one of those hipster start-up parodies!)

Aardvark was going to be a search tool powered by your ‘social graph’. So you’d throw questions out there and friends, or friends of friends, would supply you with personal answers. It never really worked for me because not enough people from my ‘graph’ signed up and so it became more like a general Q and A site – not dissimilar to Quora in many ways.

I do like the idea of this kind of service. In fact I already have it I think and so do most people I know. It is called Twitter 🙂 I think it reflects the changing focus of the people behind Twitter that they feel the need to build a new service to replicate one of the most useful and enduring strengths of their service. Over the years Twitter seems to have drifted away from the idea of empowering adhoc communities and instead being a one to many channel for celebs and brands.

I always say the great thing about Twitter is that it is what you make it. I don’t follow brands or celebs (even particularly well known web types) and my little corner of Twitter has always been generous with their knowledge on any topic I have thrown out there. I try to reciprocate as much as possible as well.

I can only assume this is no longer the case though in the wider Twitter universe or why would they feel the need to build something specific? Especially given the only way it can work (I guess) is as a parasite from Twitter itself (or Facebook..)

Anyway I am not dismissing the idea. I think if fewer people are using Twitter this way now and a specific app is required then maybe they are on to something. I never thought anyone would use Medium given all the free blogging tools out there so that shows what I know. Plus the photo and ‘annotation’ think is nice.

Would have been interesting though to see what Aardvark would have become though if Google hadn’t swallowed it up – might (just might) have made G+ useful!

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