Please Please Please Don’t Treat Pownce Like Twitter

There is this whole Twitter vs Pownce debate, which I’ve already weighed in on so I’m not going to rehash that.  Till things get cleared up, there is one thing I ask of you… please please please don’t use Pownce like Twitter.

Twitter is made for telling people that you’re eating a turkey sandwich. Pownce is made for sending me a photo of your turkey sandwich or a cool link.

If I get a barrage of 14 Pownce messages from you, telling me about how you just got on an airplane or are about to eat Chipotle, I’ll probably unfriend you.  It makes Pownce useless

I can take a certain level of noise on Twitter.  Pownce is for more signal and less noise. Pownce is more like sending me an e-mail.

If you found this really cool Wired article or photos of cute kittens, send that to me on Pownce.

How Bad Timing Hurt Pownce

I have been a fan of the Web application Pownce ever since it was launched in private beta mid-2007 by the trio of Kevin Rose, Daniel Burka, and Leah Culver.  I was especially pumped when last night Pownce moved out of private beta and opened to the world.

But… I worry that the app has been doomed  from the start because of bad timing.

When Pownce was launched in mid 2007, it was described as a “way to send stuff to your friends.”  I later heard it described as a light weight e-mail or messaging service.  It’s for when my friends want to send me a cool Web site, image, file, YouTube video, invite me for coffee later, or ask me for quick feedback about something.  Makes sense to me.  I’m always sending that kind of stuff around.

Unfortunate for Pownce, when it launched, Twitter was just starting to pick up and get a lot of buzz.  Instead of getting judged for what it is/was, Pownce has been judged as a replacement for Twitter… that it has to be one or the other… not both.

You hear a lot of people say… “only if you could send messages to Pownce via SMS, like Twitter”.  Maybe if the timing were different more folks with use Pownce and see it for what it is.

Pownce is for communicating messages.  Twitter is for communicating my status.

And… to add insult to injury Twitter is beating Pownce around the school yard.  I hope that enough people use it now that its open and it will begin to get an upswing of users.

So… what do you think of Pownce and Twitter?

E-Mail was used for so much that Facebook, Pownce, and Twitter do better

Since the dawn of e-mail, it has been used for every type of person to person communication that someone can imagine.

The thing is e-mail was getting used for so many different purposes that messages were getting lost. People were sending messages to say that they were on the way home from work and it was getting mixed in with everything else.

This is where lightweight messaging services like the Facebook Wall, Twitter, or Pownce.  They fill the role that email did but they do it better than email.

The Facebook Wall allows you to say a quick hello.  Twitter says what you’re up to.  Pownce allows you to send someone a quick link or file.   They each only do these simple tasks and they do it better than email does.  Plus with the messages siloed out into these different services, you can process them much quicker.

As Jeremiah Owyang points out, because of these lightweight messaging services, e-mail usage may be on the decline.  It really doesn’t surprise me.

Using Pownce and Twitter for Two Different Things

Robert Scoble, recently made the following comment, assuming that people use Pownce versus Twitter

All you “pro-Powncers” are assuming one thing: that Twitter isn’t going to come back. I’ve heard rumors of a soon to come update. I love competition!

Am I crazy or do Twitter and Pownce fill two completely different needs?

Twitter is here to answer the question, “What are you doing right now?”  It’s for quick short status updates.  It’s the Web 2.0 version of IM away messages.

Pownce is to send stuff (messages, links, files, and events) to my friends.     It recognizes that we all too often just want to send something quickly to someone.  It doesn’t feel like it should deserve its own email.  Plus things too often will get lost amongst the clutter of email.   Pownce is just like writing on someone’s Facebook Wall.

What would be great is if one of the options in Pownce was to send and receive Twitter updates.

Twitter updates are just one more type of content that you send to your friends.

Broadcasting Your Presence Online Will Raise Your Brand Awareness

I’m really fascinated by the idea of broadcasting your presence. People are broadcasting real-time messages about where they are and what they’re doing to their friends or even the world. Applications like Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce are getting more and more popular.

What’s happening is we’re opening up a completely new class of real-time communication that we didn’t have before. Most people only check their e-mail a couple times a day. You may talk to someone on the phone a few times a week if you’re really close. You may see someone in person but you’re not with them every second of the day.

On a basic level, what’s the question that everyone asks of eachother when you’re on the phone, “what are you up to?” People want to stay connected. Now they can easily by using these applications to broadcast they’re presence over the Web.

So this works really well from person to person, why not from business to consumer? Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce give your consumers the ability to stay in touch with your organizaiton on the most intimate of levels.

I think it’d be the perfect way to seed word of mouth advertising. Did your company just launch a new product? Are they going to hold some special event? Broadcast it real time using a presence application. Instantly people will get this information and will start talking about it.