Another day, another microblogging service: Today I checked out Rejaw. And the best way to describe its offerings is to compare it to its many peers.
Rejaw is a microblogging service like Twitter, except instead of a 140 character limit, you've got an expansive 1,000 characters to work with. (A limit I had to suss out by trial and error.) It allows you to post videos and images that appear as embeds like Pownce. It threads conversations (with simple permalinks) like Plurk. Posting to a conversation bumps it up in your stream, like FriendFeed.
One differentiator its creators emphasize is "chat," or realtime interaction with other users (although there are "whispers," a.k.a. direct or private messages as well). Of course, the service will need to have a strong community of users for this feature to prove itself.
Other nice touches? Guests can participate in conversations without a Rejaw account, provided they have an invitation. And conversations don't run or bubble up indefinitely: Rejaw closes threads after three days. This still means that if you follow Jason Calcanis, he'll spend a lot of time on your timeline. Fortunately, you can also mute a conversation.
I like that they're ready to go with the Facebook API to quicky find other users already on the service, and their own API ready to rumble. There's a desktop application for Mac OSX, but clients for other platforms are likely to surface quickly if Rejaw catches on.
What would I like to see? A character counter is always helpful, though with 1,000 characters the feature would be almost silly. I could definitely live with a much lower limit. And while I imagine server and bandwidth concerns would make it hard to duplicate Pownce's file posting feature, they could do the same link-translating magic they do for YouTube and photo URLs and give us a Flash audio player for links to MP3s. [Update: They do!] Finally, if they want to build up their user base, they've gotta work with the Twitter API to help us find our friends.
Will Rejaw catch on? Who knows. For a new microblogging service, it's pretty sharp and well thought out. The folks at Ping.fm already include it in their growing network of supported systems. I'd love using it, if everyone I knew used it too. But that's the Achilles heel of every shiny new web service.
Check out the public Rejaw timeline, or my profile.