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Pownce: micro-blogging made easy

Wednesday, 5 September 2007 — by

I like Pownce. I did like Twitter, but I don’t anymore. For me, Pownce is micro-blogging personified. While being simple to use, it’s deceptively powerful stuff. However, much like any other Social Network, it’s not the features that maketh Pownce, it’s the people…

Recently, I’ve been banging a big drum about a new illness called Social Network Fatigue. There’s a lot of it about, and it’s catching.

Every time you sign up to a new Social Network, your symptoms get worse; a general feeling of tiredness from filling out yet one more profile page.

So maybe the timing wasn’t ideal for Pownce, since this new illness was already rife and there was something of a shared sigh when Pownce hit the Social Network scene.

I’m of the understanding that Pownce trails Twitter in terms of the number of people using it. But it does depend on what you want to achieve and the type of people you want to be amongst, which we’ll touch upon later in this article.

What is Pownce?

Put simply, Pownce is a small or micro ‘blog that you share with people you add as your friends.

You get to post stuff like links, events, files (such as images, movies, music et cetera) and people can reply to those posts. They can even score your post, giving it a zero to five star rating.

As of earlier this week, the guys behind Pownce – those being some of the guys who’re behind Digg – released a new, updated version of Pownce, one that includes some very nice features:

The in-line images comes courtesy of Zooomr, who I’d not heard of until they were announced with the Pownce updates. So I suspect something suitably symbiotic at work here.

What can you do with Pownce?

Who would you expect to see on Pownce?

In general, the people on Pownce are more of a tech’ crowd. However, this isn’t a bad thing. Certainly not for the likes of me, anyhow.

My experience is that by & large, they’re a good crowd and happy to engage in a pretty wide and eclectic range of topics, not just technology-related.

There’s some young guys & gals on Pownce, but in the main, the general age group seems to be mid twenties upwards.

5 ways to improve Pownce

  1. I’d like to be able to ‘claim’ my Pownce profile on Technorati.
  2. I’d like a Pownce client for the Mac.
  3. I’d like to be able to reply to posts with the same tools I have when I’m starting a thread, i.e.: with links, events, files et cetera.
  4. I want my own feed, not just my public feed. Since I can’t control what others are saying, I can’t really make too much use of my feed.
  5. A fully-featured API (Application Programming Interface). There’s other things an API would allow for, such as more interaction via other web services.

In conclusion…

Like most things in life, you only get out of something what you put in. And in this regard, Pownce is no exception.

For me, it’s about making contact with like-minded people and to push my ‘blog, generating interest in what I’m writing about.

What you choose to get out of Pownce is up to you. But of all the Social Networks I’ve tripped on and fallen for, Pownce and StumbleUpon are the best…

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Comment and be known

Heidi → Wednesday, 5 September 2007 @ 16:14 BDT

Nice write up. As a Web developer I decided this summer that I needed to get a better understanding of Web 2.0 and social networking. A few weeks ago I blogged about some of my initial experiments. I’m still trying to get the hang of Powncing and finding legitimate uses for it. It seems the most active users, those who post a lot and receive a lot of replies, write about anything and everything. Somehow I’m not yet compelled to post things like “Drove 4 miles to work this morning with the top down. The weather was brilliant and for once I wished for a longer commute.”

Yet those sorts of things get traffic. And when you have such traffic then add something more purposeful, such as “I just blogged about X” then it seems to come in handy. I guess I’ll get the feel for it over time, but you’re article gave a good summation. And of course I found it because you had put a message out on Pownce saying you’d just finished writing the post!

Wayne Smallman → Wednesday, 5 September 2007 @ 16:42 BDT

Hi Heidi and thanks for both the comment here and adding me as a contact on Pownce! Much appreciated.

You’ve uncovered a hidden human-driven feature of Pownce, which is how the incidental stuff of one person is escapism for someone else.

An example would be one person taking their dog for a walk on the beach. Another would be someone popping into a deli in downtown New York.

If you’ve been to neither a beach nor New York, these simple, almost passing incidents are an insight into a lifestyle totally different to your own.

I latched onto this some time ago and I’ve been slowly edging towards melding incidental dialogue with more meaningful issues, or me posting links as a means of getting some Social Networking traction…

Howard → Wednesday, 5 September 2007 @ 16:49 BDT

I like using twitter and pownce to be honest. I started with pownce, and tried twitter because so many of my pownce friends were using it. They both seem completely different to me.

Wayne Smallman → Wednesday, 5 September 2007 @ 17:06 BDT

Hi Howard, thanks for the comment!

In many ways, they are different, but the way in which they’re different means that for me personally, Twitter sinks while Pownce sails.

I was invited to a group chat on Skype some time ago, discussing Twitter4Skype, and I was lucky enough to be amongst some of the developers for Skype.

Right then, Twitter was really cutting a swathe and looked set to become a dominant player in the micro-blogging scene.

Since that time, nothing’s changed and the feature set seems stuck.

I like a proper conversation with people, with proper he-said / she-said replies and no insane character limit.

I just can’t use Twitter anymore. I thought I could, but I just can’t.

As a micro-blogging platform, for me personally, Twitter is far too limited…

Heidi → Thursday, 6 September 2007 @ 2:05 BDT

That’s an interesting point you make about escapism. I hadn’t thought about it that way, yet most of the people I’ve corresponded with on Pownce seem to be in Asia or Europe. I’ll have to start thinking about the things I do from a different perspective…i.e. what might be uniquely American. So far the only way I’ve touched on this is in recognizing that traffic in Cleveland is far less dense than in Mumbai. Other than that it has reinforced what I’ve learned when traveling, mo matter where we may live we have more in common than many people realize.

p.s. Thanks for the blog comment!

Wayne Smallman → Thursday, 6 September 2007 @ 9:07 BDT

A traffic jam in Mumbai is always likely to be different to one in Cleveland, Ohio, US or even Cleveland, Cumbria, UK.

Take for example a traffic jam in the centre of Delhi, India.

Live stock on the road will always be quite different to the more mundane jack-knifed lorry we see…

Arturo → Tuesday, 18 December 2007 @ 5:13 BDT

There is already a Pownce client for the Mac. It is not native though, still powerful enough. Its an Adobe Air application, it has some bugs cause its in beta but will be fixed soon, I hope.

Rigoberto → Friday, 29 August 2008 @ 16:48 BDT

This is a nice article, it contains very useful information. Most of all I like the fact that it is a good sourse for making contact with like-minded people and to push any “blog, generating interest in what you are writing about”.

Sorry Comments are close. Quite possibly for a good reason. Share your thoughts on some of my other posts or contact me directly.

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