Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Jott : A Diamond in the Rough

Jott is a true diamond in the rough.  
The premise is quite simple. Sign on to Jott, upload your contact list, call their number and leave a message.  The message is translated and forwarded to the contact, or group, as an e-mail.  So, if you're driving down the highway and you want to leave a quick e-mail for your wife, you pick up your phone and leave the message.  I've been using it on and off for a bit, and the translations are fairly accurate and certainly usable.  Like Twitter, Jott sits at the intersection between real time communications and social networks.  You can create groups that you can Jott too, and I see that Andy Abramson uses Jott as well. It keeps a  history of all my Jotts, and could almost serve as a to-list archive. All very cool. 
Jott is still in Beta (what does beta mean these days, anyways?), so I suppose I should feel some reluctance to bash them for not having an API.  I don't. They need one, because if they had one, I would be in telephone mashing Valhalla.  The current system only works on e-mail, so although it's great that I can communicate quickly with my friends, family or take notes for myself, the interface to the rest of my workflow is clunky.  If I had an API, then it would be a simple matter to Jott myself tasks for my 30boxes calendar.  As it is, I'll have to go through hoops to get that integrated.  Any cursory glance into mobile workflow automation shows you how important Jott's functionality is, and their lack of API hinders that important, and lucrative, market adoption.  I'd also ping them for having a "I simply scaffolded this in rails" contact management solution. I have about 500 contacts in Jott, and I'd like to erase them, so I can load up a more current set. I have to page through 20 pages of 25 contacts each to delete them, and unfortunately, I've seen speedier web sites.  A little more sophistication here would be nice. 
There's a kid in my Karate class who's so excellent when he concentrates and pays attention. A true natural.  When I catch him looking anywhere but in front, I want to smack him - because I hate to see such talent wasted by stupid stuff.  The Jott implementation is a bit rough, but a diamond, nonetheless. 

  • Technically, I'd give them a B.  They could be an A, and I think nothing hard is stopping them from getting there.  Give me a more mature contact management solution, I'll give them a B+. Give me a good API, they earned that A. 
  • From a business standpoint, I give them an A-.  The service is valuable, and over time, because of their social networking angle, hard to replicate. I don't see them charging money yet, but they could.
  • From a buzz standpoint, a B+. I'm buzzed about them, and think they have great things in front of them.  In the circles I travel, Jott isn't spoken of with awe and respect, but they should be. It's a great idea whose time is come.


Ballut said...

From my understanding, Jott will charge once they release their business model, which will break them out of public beta. I've also heard a free version will stay up for the non business Jotter.

As for your frustrations with Jott, I can see where you are coming from. Jott should have a simple swift stroke right to your 30boxes calendar. I've seen someone Jott to their 30boxes, but had gmail in the equation so 30boxes would recognize where the Jott was coming from.

Anywho, I agree that Jott is a bit under rated. I've implemented my musical life with Jott, so I can see this being useful for almost anything! Great app!

Ballut said...

I spoke to a representative for Jott and they are going to make Contacts better for the upcoming release. And for more questions about their API, you can email them at api@jott.com. I hope this helps!! Let me know

Thomas Howe said...

Thanks for the legwork - Ballut. It's hard to know, over time, what gets shook out - and what sticks. I really do think that Jot's got a good thing going, it will be nice to see them fill in the holes.

Brienna R. said...

Hey, have you looked at Pinger? (www.pinger.com) -- to be fair, I work there, but if you like Jott, you might find Pinger useful.

Similiar concepts, except no Speech to text. With Pinger, you call our #, say the name or mobile of the person (people / group) you want to message (or key in the phone #) and speak your message. We send a txt msg to their phone with a # to call to retrieve the msg and provide a web inbox.

MagicTongue said...

Can Jott only use US phone numbers?

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