[jdev] a vision
justin-keyword-jabber.093179 at affinix.com
Wed Mar 11 15:05:50 CDT 2009
On Tuesday 10 March 2009 16:24:50 Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
> None of this would be exclusive. We'd still strongly encourage people to
> run their own XMPP services and join the network. But we'd also work
> hard to have worldwide coverage under the jabber.org banner.
This proposal reminds me of our discussion in Portland last year with
Christopher Zorn, about the future of Psi. I was all tied up in a knot
because I felt that to truly target average users, Psi would have to be bound
with a service, but that doing so would taint Psi's image and go against the
point of Jabber.
You see, I have this idea that there's generic Jabber services and clients and
then there's integrated services like Google Talk and SAPO, but only the
generic offerings count as being part of the Jabber ideal. Christopher
basically said this view is too limiting. Is Chesspark not part of the
Jabber ideal then? His point was that in the end it's all about offering
great software and services, and holding on to this "generic client" idea is
self-defeating. Normal people don't want generic building blocks.
One compromise we discussed was to have Psi affiliate with jabber.org (rather
than some Psi-specific service) to attempt to retain client/service
separation while still making it easier for end-users to get set up. I think
Christopher also felt this was silly (again, why *not* capitalize on this
opportunity to offer your own service?), but what can I say I'm a Jabber
philosophy idiot. In any case, we reasoned that users would find the
dual-branding confusing. First they visit the Psi website, then suddenly
they are signing up for a jabber.org account... WTF? Seems shady.
Speaking of "first they visit the Psi website", Christopher argued that users
will start at the client, mainly because it is the face of the service. They
will see the software running on a friend's computer, or they'll see a
screenshot or such, and think "Hey, that's pretty cool, I want that." The
approach of going to jabber.org and having to pick a client is backwards.
If your vision is to take on Skype directly, it sounds like what is needed is
a strong front-running client that has matching branding of the service
itself. To most users, the client and service would be synonymous with each
other, as is the case with Skype, MSN, etc.
The big question of all is whether it is the job of jabber.org to compete with
Skype. Aren't there others in this space already trying to do that? If
jabber.org is truly competitive, and no longer a self-defeating reference
service, is it still fair to use the "Jabber" name? Peter, you may remember,
one of the options we discussed was to actually get rid of jabber.org
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