Moodgeist, Skype & Twitter IM Overlay

    March 13, 2007

Given Twitter has reached escape velocity, I’m sure Obvious Corp. is in for an exit.  It is a clear and simple fit for many social media portal players.  But I think the interesting fit is how Twitter could complement an IM network.  To turn this question around, consider if AIM, Y! messenger, MSN or others suddenly enabled IM status to serve as the message and the buddy list to be a social network?

Well, the prototype already exists, with Skype.  Jaanus Kase, Skype community marketing manger, created Moodgeist.  You install a pinger and your Skype mood message is broadcast publicly.  You can browse recent moods, subscribe to feeds and see popular words.

Now, its just a hack to show off the Skype API, and me mentioning it might crash his server.  But you can see where it could go.  If Moodgeist pingers were part of the Skype software, the social network truly served as a filter, they added an SMS gateway and let you share moods either publicly or privately — you have Twitter on a massive scale, technically.

But this is the consumer internet and Twitter has less to fear.  Twitter is a cultural product.  You see culture in the conventions and shared language such as @username.  You can’t just overlay culture, it needs to be cultivated.