Kahuna (Hotmail Beta) – extreme marketing, new teasers

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Company: Kahuna (Hotmail Ajax Beta)
Status: in private beta
Location: Mountain View, CA
Previous Profile: August 16, 2005

Kahuna – Extreme Marketing

I am a little bit annoyed right now. Sometimes people get a little too cute. Microsoft’s Kahuna may be falling into that category.

I’m pretty excited about Kahuna because I love ajax and this is going to be one cool ajax application. It looks like (and should be) the new version of Hotmail will act very much like a desktop application. I like that. I want to try it out, and blog about it. And although I don’t always get an invitation to participate in a beta, I usually don’t have to waste a lot of time getting to an answer.

Kahuna is offering beta invites, but require you to read through team member blogs to find out the answers to questions. If you find the answer, you get another hint. Here’s a recent post by Imran Qureshi, the Kahuna Program Manager:

The mail team wants to invite a few more beta testers into the mail beta, but simply adding people is just too easy… so we put together a small treasure hunt:

One of our team members made a post about the origin of the product’s code name, locate his space for your next hint.

WTF? This is stupid. This is not time well spent. This does nothing to build a brand or make me a loyal user. It suceeds only in pissing me off. I’d much rather use this time either testing Kahuna (and most likely writing amazing things about it), or testing something else (there are lots of other profiles on my to-do list).

So, do you guys agree and consider it kind of lame to waste our time like this? Or am I wrong and this treasure hunt is an example of hip, cool, edgey and/or extreme marketing (marketing 2.0)?

I am now done with this particular gripe.

Kahuna Update

Back to Kahuna, Imran has posted additional screen shots and information on the service. He had a previous post where he stated 2 of his top 5 reasons for liking Kahuna.

Today he posted reasons 3 and 4 (leaving us in suspense for #5), along with a new screen shot of Kahuna (see to left):

3. Keyboard shortcuts to read mail
I’m sure the power users will love this. Use “[“ and “]” to navigate the message list and read your messages without using the mouse at all. Combine these with the preview pane and the delete key shortcut to delete messages and you can cruise through your inbox in no time flat. To read a message, click Enter to open a message in a larger view and click Esc to return to your message list. Also, “control [” and “control ]” will allow you to move between mail folders.

4. Change message encoding as you read
Do you get a lot of mails in a variety languages? If the mail itself does not specify the encoding Hotmail calculates the encoding by analyzing the message. You can choose the correct encoding if mail beta’s automatic choice was wrong so your messages look right regardless of the sending language or encoding.

It really does look like Kahuna will be user friendly and fast. Looking forward to future posts on this.

  • http://blog.broadpool.com/ Glen

    I think you guys have no idea what Information Technology means IRL.

  • Michael Markman

    @1. If we limit Information Technology only to what it has meant, then we’re closing off many paths to new value creation. There’s something new and powerful brewing here. Why argue about what bucket it fits in?

  • http://dmix.ca dMix

    Steve Gilmours Posts:
    Spy vs Spy – Mentions Twitter
    The Enterprise iPhone Twitter Connection – About Twitter
    Send in the Clowns – No Twitter (best post as well)
    Deconstructing Twitter – About Twitter
    Plus ça change – Mentions Twitter
    Independence Day – Mentions Twitter
    The Crown Jewels – Mentions Twitter

    — I stopped on page 3.

    Thanks for your insightful information technology posts.

    I’ve unsubscribed, so I’ll stop complaining about this.

  • Steve Gillmor


    Welcome to the Ostrich Pool.

  • http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk Alex Bellinger

    If Twitter really starts shutting down services like twitterspy, this surely demonstrates that Twitter knows how important track is. That’s a good thing, albeit that it gives track addicts short term withdrawal symptoms.

    If the withdrawal ends up being long term, then whichever developer/alternate service can concoct a methadone-like track substitute could walk off with the Twitter’s stash of users.

  • http://www.masonlee.org Mason Lee

    Glen, dMix– This hypothetical world-wide dynamic pub-sub architecture that Steve is always going on about (and using Twitter as an example for) has pretty radical implications for information technology.

    Steve, have you talked much to folks like Tibco and webMethods (now Software AG) to see what their message brokers might be able to do for a track-like system? Seems like these companies will have a lot more experience in this realm than Twitter. I’d be interested to read some enterprise perspectives on the problem, if you have links. Enjoying your posts and radio show every time I get the chance.


  • http://blog.echovar.com/?p=449 echovar » Blog Archive » A Fine Madness: Spy vs. Spy

    […] not certain how these things are connected. But watch the whole thing and I’m sure something will […]

  • http://blog.echovar.com/?p=450 echovar » Blog Archive » Boundaries of the Real-Time Conversational Flow through the Network

    […] that right, they’ll need to focus on delivering high volume, high quality data liquidity. The key question is under what terms that data will be available. The economics of real time stock exchange data is […]

  • http://datacenterjunkie.com/ Michael T. Halligan

    I’m blown away. Who’d have thought that TechCrunch had run out of space for posts about Twitter that you guys would have to create a new web property, solely for the purpose of talking about Twitter (and some other fluff).

    TechCrunchIT = TechCrunch Instatiable for Twitter?

    Don’t get me wrong, Mike’s a nice guy, and I’ve had fun at the two bbqs I attended at his pad, but surely there must be something new in the world of IT to talk about besides Twitter? Maybe the hyperactive REIT and Datacenter market? Utility computing? Something besides Advertising and Twitter-addiction?

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