At first glance Quub may appear to be just another twitter-like service, but it’s actually much more than that. George Ruan and Dr. Donald J. Patterson created the service because they thought that existing micro-blogging services requires too much time and effort on the part of the average user, which ultimately meant that the users would update the status rarely or give up on the service. Instead of participating in the community, most users would become a mere observer. And I can tell you from my own experience that that is the case.
Coming up with a status message that provides value to your followers, something I always try to keep in mind, is not a trivial problem. Except maybe retweeting news, I gave up on tweeting. But then again, even with my very small follower count, my followers are not my actual friends interested in what I’m up to – they’re geeks looking for useful information.
If you’re using Twitter like it was meant to be used, to share personal blurbs with friends, Quub solves the problem of creating new status messages. It achieves that goal by separating the status box in three distinct parts: where, what and whatever. And its artificial intelligence ‘robot’ will even try to anticipate your input based on your previous statuses.
But the best thing is that it works with your existing services – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Plurk – automatically updating your status across different social networks with the push of a button. You don’t even have to visit the Quub site – you can update via IM, SMS or via the Android, iPhone or Blackberry applications.
The developers must have kept an eye on the complaints of similar services and engineered some good ideas; we’ve got a good discussion interface that separates conversations in threads.
Unfortunately, you can’t view updates from other services inside Quub, and the discussion view and contacts panel work only with other Quub users. While it can update other services, Quub is a stand-alone platform.
Inviting your friends couldn’t be any easier – as it can connect to your Gmail/Yahoo/AOL mail account to gather email addresses. You could also post an status message inviting your friends to try Quub, along with your username.
Quub is not revolutionary, but it’s a worthwhile upgrade to the micro-blogging experience. Twitter, which should be all about the ‘many-to-many’ concept of transmitting information, is actually still entrenched in the old ‘one-to-many’ broadcasting concept; obvious examples are the immensely popular accounts of Oprah and other TV & music celebrities. Even at the sign-up, users are prompted to automatically follow a generic list of famous people and various vendors. Quub is all about being in touch with your real friends, and because it doesn’t serve the celebs, it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.
The developers seem to be dedicated and up to speed with the latest tech – for example the new Firefox geo-location service – which means Quub has a fair chance to becoming the next hot start-up.
Go on to quub.com and give it a try, then come back and share your first impressions in the comments.