Monday, July 02, 2007

Pownce Review

Here's a short review on Pownce, the new IM social networking thing from the States. We've had Twitter and Jaiku and suddenly there is Pownce.

Pownce launched on june 26th into Alpha testing. So after barely one week of existence it is a little short to draw conclusions. Too early to tell if Pownce will be the next killer app or will be doomed before it leaves alpha or beta testing.

In my twittergroup it kinda hyped and everyone was screaming for invites. Why? I think two reasons:

  1. One of the makers of Pownce is KevinRose (from Digg) and
  2. Robert Scoble (Scobleizer) is on it as well.
The early signs were promising, but over the weekend Pownce saw an onrush of new users resulting in scalability and stability problems. The slick looking Adobe AIR driven client crashed several times.
There are a number of features on Pownce which I really like.
The screen below is the webinterface. Pownce has a number of very nice features, when compared to Twitter or Jaiku.
  1. You can reply to messages (and rate them)
  2. You can send files and plan events
  3. You can divide your friends in various subsets (see last pic)
Off course, there's always a downside. The first two "weak points" may not be that bad at all though, depends on how you look at the world of Ol' Bill's Crap.
  1. Not every setting works when changed in IE, works fine in Firefox though ;)
  2. My current templates works with alphachannels and transparency. Doesn't work in IE6, so the background of white text becoms white, ergo non readable.
  3. After the sudden onrush of new twitter-seasoned folks it seems as if Pownce is experiencing some problems with scalability.
  4. There's no support for mobile messaging

Finally there's some points that the lot of them (Pownce, Jaiku and Twitter) could take notice of: In this day and age of social networks and metaverses we all know eachother by different names, our real name, our social name, our metaverse name and what have you got. An extensive addressbook would come in handy.

Anyway, here's a few other blogposts

Worth mentioning is Tao Takashi's notes on the lack of mobile support and RSS:

"What Pownce is missing is the mobile side of things. You cannot yet send or receive posts via SMS and additionally only one RSS feed is there right now which is the feed of your and your friend’s posts but not the one of the main timeline. Moreover an API seems to be there as they created an external application using AIR themselves and somebody made a Facebook application but it’s not open or documented it seems."

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