Just.me Holds These Names to be Self-Evident
The communications/social platform Just.me launched into limited beta today. It’s a well thought-out, mobile-focused service for sharing updates and media (including videos) with either tight social groups (family and friends) or wider audiences (like Twitter and Facebook “friends”). It blends some of the best characteristics of email, Twitter, Facebook, Path, and other services into one coherent app. It is ambitious and impressive.
The early beta still has plenty of rough edges, but in concept and design, Just.me is going in the right direction. I like Just.me’s flow for recording or uploading media, and then sending it, very much.
Just.me CEO Keith Teare has been trying to bring coherence to the Internet for years. In 1997 he launched Real Names, his attempt to augment the clunky URL-based address system of the Web with a more human-readable, extension-free naming scheme. With Just.me, Teare’s Border Collie herding instinct emerges again: Just.me is also its own network, one that functionally encompasses, for its users, the features and the address books of other networks. Each Just.me user will also have a Just.me address. Over time, Teare believes these addresses will become more valuable.
So he’s putting effort into creating the concept of the Just.me naming convention. All Just.me users will get a * name, as in *rafe for yours truly. Teare is hoping to follow Twitter in the creation of a self-evident naming system.
Twitter, of course, has the @ locked up. If you see @rafe written down, you know what that’s referring to. In the personal name space, only email itself has managed to achieve that kind of self-evident naming convention. While Google+ has the + all to itself, it’s rarely referenced outside of Google+ itself. Facebook and LinkedIn, like Twitter and Google+, also give users unique or “vanity” Web addresses that are easy to read, but there’s no accepted naming shorthand to designate these URLs.
Just.me’s unique naming scheme won’t matter much unless Just.me becomes a big, important communication platform. But if the service does begin to get traction, the self-branding of the * names could be an important accelerator. It’s a smart move. And it raises the question: What foundations are you laying with your venture that don’t seem to matter much now, but could be key factors in the future?
Khosla-Backed Just.me Gears Up For Launch With iOS Beta (TechCrunch)
Just.me App Wants to Be a Switchboard Operator for All Your Messaging Needs (All Things D)
3 Ways to Get Videos of the Kids to Grandma (Opportunity Notes)
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