I am a Twitter user, even though I tend to lurk more than post messages, and for the most part I enjoy using the service; but like a lot of people out there I find there are times where the 140 character limitation is … well, just too limiting.
Then there are times where you would like to have a one to one private conversation but without being limited to the 140 characters but rather have the conversation flow naturally.
Well, I’ve been lucky enough to be testing a new service called Joint (thanks Louis Gray for the original heads up) and I have become a real fan of this extension of your Twitter conversation. Not only can you have those private 1:1 conversations but you can also create groups where you can talk with many of your friends (and their friends as well if they are invited in).
As well you can join any of the existing groups you might find listed as long as they haven’t been password protected. Additionally you can create what Joint calls stealth groups that aren’t visible in the group list but the owner of the group can invite you into.
Anyone familiar with old school IRC chatrooms will notice similarities with Joint right off the bat but the big advantages with Joint is that it is based totally around your existing Twitter friend list so there is no being left wondering who the hell you want to talk to.
The other nice thing about Joint is that it is drop dead easy to use.
You will need the AIR app installed but that is equally easy to get and install. all it takes is someone sharing with a link to their Joint profile page, or a link to the 1:1 conversation they want to have with you, or a link to the group they are inviting you to.
Finally you can download the app from the Joint page, install it, and go exploring to see which of your Twitter friends are already using Joint.
Here is my profile page as an example
When you click on either the 1:1 Chat button or the Preview button you will be taken to the page where you can Launch Joint which is what will start the download of the app.
One of the things that Joint’s developer Ethan Gahng and I discussed during the testing of Joint was what case use I saw for Joint and my immediate response was that Joint would make an excellent back channel for any organization; both on a public and private in-house level.
My example was for blogs who want to have a staff back channel for discussing work as well as a public channel where their fans could join in and chat with the writers, or share story tips and ideas. There are any number of examples where companies that already have a presence on Twitter can go that one step further with their followers.
Joint might not be a conversation game changer but it definitely is a great way to extend Twitter to be able to engage in larger conversations.