The web 2.0 crowd is a fickle one: How do you keep your users?

Jaiku experiences downtime tooThis evening, looking at the activity on Twitter, I was fascinated to see how quickly the usual Jaiku crowd had migrated. For those who haven’t noticed, Jaiku was showing a big fat 502 Bad Gateway error for a number of hours before it was replaced by the Jaiku birdie telling us that busted hard drives were to blame for the downtime.

Now, Twitter is notoriously flaky and known for going up and down more than a kid’s see-saw in a busy park in midsummer. Yet, everyone flocked over as the default alternative to Jaiku. If it wasn’t Twitter, it would have been something else. Pownce? Facebook? Seesmic?

In a magpie-like fashion, the web 2.0 crowd will look for the next shiny thing. I know. I’m one of them, and I sure as hell am guilty for chronically creating accounts on every new service, just to promptly ditch it and move on.

So what makes a service people come back to? A site that makes it past the 12-18 months “best before” date? Or are all new web 2.0’ish services destined to peak quickly then die just as fast? Lots more thoughts to add on this, but first, I’m interested to see what everyone else thinks.

I’ll leave you on this thought… What if Twitter and Jaiku were down at the same time? Would the world collapse? Or would everyone’s productivity increase by 200%?

For now, I must go tweet about how sick I am of packing boxes. It’s more bearable than it was some years ago but it still bites.