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5 sure steps to a better Pownce

As a micro-blogging platform, Pownce is great. There’s a genuine sense of community in there, but Pownce isn’t without its blind spots, dark corners and empty chairs. In this house, there’s room for improvement!

As a micro-blogging platform, Pownce is great. There’s a genuine sense of community in there, but Pownce isn’t without its blind spots, dark corners and empty chairs. In this house, there’s room for improvement!

Pownce is a Social Network

For those less familiar with what Pownce is, then I have just the article for you:

“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.”

1. In search of the discussion

The obvious absentee is a search tool. Sometimes, you just need to find that photograph, that song, or that comment you made.

2. Pownce — the editors edition

As a developer, I’m familiar with the phrase: reads are cheap, but writes are very expensive. So that might be the reason the guys behind Pownce choose not to offer the ability to edit comments — because of the load such a feature would place upon their servers.

Also, there’s also the problem of revisionist historians changing a discussion part way through a heated debate, or whatever, which is an issue for forums.

So the ability to edit would come at some price. But looking at the discussions I’m a part of, I think it could only be a good thing.

3. Pownce as the social hub

Most people seem to add in their other Social Networks and Social Media hang-outs, so why not have Auto-Sets that gather people under these different websites?

Do this, and Pownce becomes a social hub, with people able to find friends in places they maybe never thought to look.

4. Refined friends

What about filter options (by region, by country et cetera)? Then we can find people by more refined criteria.

Strangely, I think Pownce is exempt from the need to offer some way of ranking friends. The reason being that Pownce is a very open-ended series of discussions, all of which are essentially open to you.

So it’s possible you’re missing a conversation in your country, or about your country, which you want to be a part of.

5. Pownce — the omnibus edition

Some people on Pownce have hundreds of friends. It’s hardly surprising that the odd comment we throw in there just vanishes into their Inbox!

So why not have an email omnibus? Just like Google Alerts, or thread updates in forums, we get to choose to have our messages sent to us in one email.

Over to you! Improving upon Pownce in leaps and bounds

So, if you’re on Pownce, first of all, feel free to add me, Wayne Smallman and Kate Carillo, too.

Secondly, what do you think Pownce needs to make it better for you?

Recommended reading

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

9 replies on “5 sure steps to a better Pownce”

I think you hit it right on the head. I especially like the social hub idea. I don’t mind the none edit function. Since everyone knows that you can’t edit, it is taken as a grain of salt if you make mistakes. Plus people pay attention, so if you correct yourself down the line, it will be noticed easily.

1. I use Pownce Search and Pownce People Search but a built in search function would be handy.

2. I soooooo very much need that editing function. Leah and Daniel talked about that in Alan’s podcast. (Give it a listen if you’ve not yet done so, they even answered one of my questions!) I got the sense that we’ll see this feature. Regarding the revisionist history issue Daniel discussed the possibility of time-limited editing. I.e. Editing could be open for the first 10 minutes after posting, and then close. This way I could fix my typos, but couldn’t edit a post from last month to purport that I knew LSU would beat OSU.

3. Pownce is definitely the center of my social hub. More and more of the people I add to Facebook, LastFM, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Flickr, etc. are fellow Powncers. Having the links to other profiles is fabulous, but if we could leverage this further, that would be cool.

4. Yes, we can create our own groups within our friends list, but if we could view/sort by some sort of tagging criteria that might be cool. One of the first things I did was look for fellow Clevelanders to friend. As it turns out I’ve made stronger connections with you folks scattered around the planet than those in my own backyard, but it would be good to post or read “Cleveland” or “Web Development” or something once in awhile. It would certainly be a good way to find more of the folks with common interests.

5. Interesting idea. I recall some of the listservs I used to read had an option to get either individual emails or a daily/weekly message that aggregated them all. I bet they could add some more options to this area.

Great ideas as usual Wayne. Good to see you online Howard, I hope your work schedule calms down soon.

Wayne,
I’m anxious to see what you come up with for that, esp. as I’ll be writing more on interior navigation and continuing the metaphor as well. It will be interesting to see how our approaches vary.

Pownce is a design with potential.
How about a “favourites” to bookmark posts you like? It could have the option of deleting them (a simple X next to each title) once you’re done with them, so you can return to posts when you have time.

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