Elisa, a Finnish telephone operator and ISP, has created their own microblogging platform called Zircle. The service itself is having some hiccups at the moment as I couldn’t get the registration to work and thus was unable to test drive the service. However, there are plenty of tips around the service that tell what it does.
The service in itself is some sort of port of Jaiku and/or Nokia’s Friend View. Zircle does not provide their own mobile application, but you can use the service through the mobile browser, according to the FAQ -section.
Some other features of the service include free SMS messages (at least for now) between the users and the possibility to name the signal towers to your liking. In short, the value proposition of the service is relatively – if not the same as Jaiku’s.
I have a strong feeling that this is some sort of a ported white label service to meet Elisa’s need. If not, this raises serious questions about the possibility of Elisa to bring this sort of a product to the market. Where are the e-mail signups for the early adapters waiting to hear when the service is open, where is the buzz from the closed beta group leaking links and screenshots around, etc. etc? Elisa has nevertheless provided a quick tour of the service that tells more about the service, what it looks like at the moment and in short, what it does.
Building a community service where you don’t involve the early adapters and possible evangelists to your service from early on is up for an uphill climb. It’s all about taking that beach head in some group of people and building from there on, taking advantage of the connections people have. Then again, I don’t know what they have up the sleeve so I may be speaking too soon.