UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Posts Tagged ‘Pownce’

Pownce? It’s About The Community, Stupid!

Posted by Brian Kelly on 14 Dec 2008

I was an early adopter of the Pownce micro-blogging service, sending my first Pownce post on 22nd January 2008.  As you can see from the accompanying image I was interested in how Pownce differed from Twitter. After discovering that Pownce provided richer functionality than Twitter I then realised that in order for Pownce to provide a useful tool for me I needed to build a community of Pownce users.

But that’s where Pownce failed. Despite the functionality it provided it never caught on, whereas Twitter went from strength to strength.  And tomorrow (15th December 2008) Pownce will close. What, then, are the lessons to be learnt? I’d suggest there is a simple lesson which the development community should reflect on – the most important aspect of a social networking service is the community of users.  And it doesn’t matter how great the development methodologies are, how interoperable the standards may be, how widely accessible the interface is –  if you aren’t successful in attracting a sustainable user community the servicew will fail. Just as Pownce failed.

Posted in Web2.0 | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Is Pownce The Answer?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 22 Jan 2008

In the recent discussion about Twitter there was a feeling, from some, that it wasn’t well-suited for discussions. Indeed Andy Powell commented:

i think you are right to question whether using Twitter for one-to-one or few-to-few conversations is the right approach. i (eventually) stopped Twittering on Friday cos it felt like we were mis-using it.

And yet a few minutes ago I smiled at the following comments from Andy, Paul Miller and Pete Johnston:

andypowe11 The moment i wake up / before i put on my makeup / i tweet a little tweet for you … from im Icon_star_empty

paulmiller @andypowe11 – makeup?

PeteJ @paulmiller: (senior staff)

Brilliant! I have to admit, I enjoy Pete’s witticisms. But if on Twitter you follow Pete or Paul but not Andy, you’ll miss the context and just get the two of them talking about make-up with the reference ot the Aretha Franklin song.

The pithy one-liners are useful, I feel, but I’m not convinced that Twitter is the best tool for this.

But also on today’s Twitter feed I received an announcement from TechCrunch saying that Pownce is now open to subscription, after a closed testing period. The Pownce About me page states that:

Pownce is a way to send stuff to your friends. What kind of stuff? You can send just about anything: music, photos, messages, links, events, and more. You can do it all on our web site, or install our lightweight desktop software that lets you get out of the browser.

Now isn’t our requirement to send stuff (witticisms, jokes and useful snippets of information)? Time for experimentation, I think. And it might be useful to subscribe quickly – before your preferred user id is taken.

Posted in Twitter | Tagged: | 4 Comments »