Pownce, it’s a bittersweet world of gimmicks and elitism in what’s supposed to be a social-updates site. I’ve been part of Pownce now for nearly a month, and I have to say, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be. At first, there’s that beautiful moment of exclusivity you feel when you get an invite-code and login for the first time to your page. But the novelty soon wears off and you can soon see what the experience of using it every day is really like.
What’s different to the other social-update sites (Twitter / Jaiku etc.) is that you feel that if you are going to make an update then you have to make a really witty, clever or humorous comment, or otherwise there’s no point in publishing it. So eventually after a few minutes of trying to gather some thoughts together, you make a comment. What was a simple process of posting what you’re doing, this new idea has become almost a reminiscent of a BBS.There is a few nice features and some features which are questionable, such as the 5-star rating system. Why would you want this? Unless you are a web-celebrity, such as Kevin Rose or Leo Laporte then you won’t be seeing any gold stars next to your posts because nobody really cares what you have to say. Another feature is the reply, this is a nice feature, but it was in Jaiku also. And again, you just have to make a clever post to get a reply unless of course you are a web celebrity, who could just let a cat mash their keyboard and click Post and they’d get 50+ replies and 5-gold stars. The type of environment that Pownce has created doesn’t work well as a social-update website and is nowhere near as good as Jaiku or Twitter.
More features, some of the nicer ones, include uploading an audio-file which can be played within the comment window. This is nice but then a gimmick which is very rarely used. One place I can see it being useful is podcasters, but then if you want to do that you’re going to have to become a Pro member, and that means coughing up $20 a year. Another ‘nice’ feature is the Events posting. This is a good idea, but as before, exclusive more or less, to Web-celebrities. Who in their right mind would like to open up a personal event to a website of, lets be honest, strangers? Nobodys real-life friends are all on Pownce, maybe on or two are, but the majority of your ‘friends’ on Pownce would be online-friends and beyond that… strangers. Another nice gimmick, which could easily be incorporated into any of the competitors, but as I see it, useless. Pownce is a sort of love-child of Tumblr and Jaiku, and unfortunately it’s one ugly baby.
If you want to be on Pownce, I reccomend you don’t waste your time hunting down an invite and just go to a forum somewhere and stick to Twitter or Jaiku, it’s a far cry from these gold-standard sites.