Is Pownce not just e-mail for elitists?
Posted by Nels Wadycki
From Pownce’s home page:
Pownce is brought to you by a bunch of geeks who were frustrated trying to send stuff from one cube to another.
Funny… when my wife wants to send me something across the room to print for her (printer isn’t networked), she just uses e-mail. Gmail is pretty good at letting her attach files and send them.
I send links and event “invites” to friends for things like playing basketball or video games on the weekends. Sometimes I invite people to movies. I use e-mail for that, too.
Realistically (I guess), a lot of it comes down to what your friends are like. I’ve had a hard enough time getting my friends to join Flickr so I can share non-public-type photos with them. I don’t want to try to get them on another social site (especially not one that only “allows” me to send messages, files, and links to them). So, I guess Pownce is really meant for those early-adopter types (I’m with them) who have lots of early-adopter type friends (there’s where it falls apart for me). But, even for those early-adopters with lots of early-adopter friends, what does Pownce do that e-mail doesn’t? Can’t you just make an e-mail group with your early-adopter friends and use that to send links, files, and messages to them?
My guess is that part of it is the Twitter-style psychology. If I Twitter something, it takes at most, say, 5 seconds to read it. The character limit makes it that way. If I write an e-mail, it’s probably going to be more than 140 characters. So, it will probably take more than 5 seconds to read. So by posting a message on Twitter (or Pownce), you’re telling the people who receive that message: this is lightweight, won’t take too much of your time (and probably isn’t that important).
Another part – guessing again – is probably the ability to send stuff to a bunch of people really easily. That’s basically saying, though, “I’m not picking people to send this to, so it may or may not apply to you.” If it’s not important enough to type three letters (or less) and use Gmail(or Yahoo or Hotmail)’s address book to pick out people to send it to, how important is it, really? Isn’t that just contributing to information overload?
I know it probably sounds somewhat hypocritical since I’m an information junkie, and I have been known to post stuff to Facebook in the same way that people probably post stuff to Pownce… but recently I’ve become much more conscious regarding the efficiency of handling all that information, as well as who has access to that information. The combo of Twitter, Jaiku, Facebook, and their various privacy controls set me on my current path. To me, Twitter is valuable because it does one thing, and does it well. And since I have fairly few Twitter “followers”, I know who is going to be reading my Twitters, and I can sort of cater to that audience. Jaiku adds value as an aggregator (and a source of “private” Twitter-style messages). Facebook adds value because Twitter and Jaiku both have hooks into it. It also has the advantage of having a bunch of my friends already on it, so I don’t have to re-establish my “social graph.”
I could use the Pownce application in Facebook to add the same sort of value as Twitter or Jaiku, and maybe even a little more because of the special link formatting and file attachment. But when I consider that value add, I ask myself: what files do I want to post on there?
The one case I can see where Pownce is useful is the events. Kevin Rose put up this invitation to a party and got 87 responses to the post. Of course, the majority of those RSVPed “Wishing I Could Come” or “Not Attending.” And that’s Kevin Rose. How many people are going to have enough friends and/or followers that posting an event is going to have a better response than (once again) sending an e-mail?