I tried the Jyngle service after a positive experience with Pinger and boy was I disappointed. It's surprising that for all the publicity these companies get that no one actually reports on the quality of these services. Deal info and CEO hobnobbing seem to trump first hand experience.
Jyngle and Pinger realize different subsets of the same space of ideas. Where Pinger promotes peer to peer communication, Jyngle promotes 1 to N, leader to group broadcasting; recipients can't reply. IMHO, the latter product strategy is more focused and a stronger attempt at finding a chasm crossing niche. Jyngle targets the leaders or appointed communicators of well-defined groups like athletic teams. Teams and clubs that meet regularly often have to broadcast room or field changes or snow cancellations or reminders, etc. Teams happy with the service would tell other teams, leagues other leagues, and team members their co-workers back at the office all the way to main street in a happy scenario.
With this focus, Jyngle's web interface naturally emphasizes group management. Subscribers can create groups, join groups, leave groups with mechanisms similar to those on the Yahoo Groups. Group owners have a variety of ways to get their messages out: SMS, Text to Voice Message, or Voice Message. The messages also must be scheduled with time and date.
The product and marketing strategy seem well thought out but the execution lacks severely, somewhat the inverse of Pinger's situation.
Where Pinger is thoroughly modern and thoughtful from the web interface to the voice UI, Jyngle-- though it launched in beta just two months ago--seems at least a few years old. The clunky web interface is Web 1.0 and audio links are actually wav files that must be downloaded. Pinger's voice UI is modern financial services quality, where Jyngle's is something you might expect from an Apple II.
The worst of my Jyngle beta experience is that I never received any of the test messages I sent myself. I felt like I landed in some random desolate spot in SecondLife. Is this place for real?
It's no surprise that internet product standards are much higher in San Francisco than in Milwaukee. But will the kickball team in Milwaukee care? Jyngle will get the kinks out, though there doesn't seem much hope for the web UI short of a rewrite.
For all their effort, Jyngle's ideas seem like a natural-and easy-feature evolution for Yahoo Groups.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, October 20th, 2006 and is filed under SMS, mobile.
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