I'm not sure what to make of Google's acquisition of Jaiku, a Twitter competitor based in Finland. This move certainly validates the fledgling presence application (or lifestreaming) space, and would seem to put erstwhile eighty-pound gorilla Twitter on the defensive (especially when you consider Twitter's fairly routine technical tomfoolery that causes even the most fervent Twitterati to yank out their hair.) In fact, the twittersphere has been all, ahem, a-twitter with talk of Google sounding the death knell for what has so-far been a pretty clear market leader (albeit in a very nascent space.)
On the other hand, Google hasn't always made the most of their acquisitions -- I'm thinking of other early stage start-ups like Dodgeball. If you don't know them, they were a pioneer in mobile social software, an idea that has yet to hit its stride (at least not here in the U.S.) but one that most certainly will. Google so neglected Dodgeball that, not only did it stall (it is still around, though), but its founders quit out of frustration and let the world know by posting a special resignation photo on Flickr. Google has become such a dominant force in search that I think people tend to forget that it has, at best, a spotty track record just about everywhere else.
I hope the Jaiku folks fare better, of course. I've been a Jaiku member since May and I think it's a good enough service, although all I'm doing with it as of now is cross-posting my blog RSS, my Flickr updates and (ironically?) my Twitter tweets. So if my social media buddies migrate in droves, I'm ready to kick it up a notch.
In the meantime, since I know lots of folks are looking to get into Jaiku (which is still 'invite only'), I've got ten invites for the first ten people who ask for them. Drop a comment with an accurate email address and I'll hook you up.
And if you're already a Jaiku user, I'm gregverdino.jaiku.com.