Six Apart Kills Pownce

In surprising news today, Six Apart has announced that they will be acquiring Pownce for an undisclosed amount of money but Pownce will cease to exist come December 15th. As VentureBeat points out, this looks like a move to acquire skills and people rather than the service. A quick look at the Pownce timeline showcases some unhappy users which is to be expected.

Pownce Users Not Happy

Pownce Users Not Happy

The official Pownce blog contains instructions on how to export data from a Pownce account. The tool will create an export file that can then be imported into Vox, TypePad, or WordPress. As for those who purchased pro accounts, looks like they will be receiving an email with additional information within the coming days.

I have no idea what Six Apart has in mind for the Pownce team members but it could be interesting. Also, this signifies that Twitter is the cream of the crop in terms of microblogging services. What will happen to Jaiku or Plurk? This situation is also a good opportunity to think about what would happen if Twitter ended up with the same fate. Hopefully, they would also provide export tools but considering their size, their userbase, etc. I doubt we’ll be seeing Twitter going away anytime soon.

As I conversed about this story with PatrickD on Twitter, he made a great point:
patrickd88@jeffr0 Twitter had the advantage of being first. Nobody could touch it. The only service to almost take it down was itself!

US Army Sees Twitter As Potential Terrorist Tool

Breitbart.com is reporting that in a recent draft that was filed by the US ARMY, Twitter is being considered as a potential terrorist tool.

“Extremist and terrorist use of Twitter could evolve over time to reflect tactics that are already evolving in use by hacktivists and activists for surveillance,” it said. “This could theoretically be combined with targeting.”

The report outlined scenarios in which militants could make use of Twitter, combined with such programs as Google Maps or cell phone pictures or video, to carry out an ambush or detonate explosives

Wow. I guess you know you’ve made it once people start claiming your web 2.0 microblogging service can be used as a tool by terrorists. To top it all off, Osamabinladen has been using Twitter for quite a while now. A U.S. Intelligence officer should direct message him and politely ask where he his hiding.

Tumblr Makes Some Changes

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Looks like someone at Tumblr was home after all. Today is November 1st which is the date Tumblr promised would show off some new goodies while also making a few announcements. They have delivered on this promise in more than one way.

Tumblr now sports a brand new Dashboard design. Looky there! Tumblr now supports audio. Audio files can only be posted to your Tumblr account through the dashboard. The Tumblr bookmarklet currently doesn’t support the Audio feature. Tumblrs can only post one audio file per day and the file has to be under 5 MB in size.

New Tumblr Dashboard

The addition of channels. Taking a page out of Jaiku’s book, Tumblrs can now create private channels. The channels allow you to create mini cliqs within the Tumblr network. Once you invite someone into your channel, they can then invite someone else into your channel. Not exactly what I call great control, but a nifty feature none the less.

Tumblr Channels

Tumblr has also teamed up with Vimeo. Vimeo users can now connect Tumblr to their account which allows them to upload videos via their phone. The theme designer has become more user friendly, there is now an archive link at the bottom of Tumblelogs that makes browsing previous posts much easer than clicking the PREVIOUS link 500 times and last but not least, Tumblr has yet to add support for Podcasting feeds.

All in all, it looks like things are starting to look up for the service. I don’t use Tumblr as much as I used to but I’m sure this update and redesign puts them back on the radar. I hope that at some point, they add a stats feature which shows me who is reblogging my Tumblr content. When the reblogging feature was implemented, it was suppose to allow Tumblrs to see how their content would spread across the network. So far, this hasn’t been the case and in this latest incarnation of Tumblr, those features are still missing.

Do you use Tumblr? If so, how do you use it? Lifestreaming? Linkblog? Your one and only blog? Let us know in the comment section.

Tumblr Awakes From Its Slumbr

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Back in August, I wrote an article that speculated the fact that Tumblr may have been on its way out (Is Tumblr Dead?) but apparently, November 1st will be a big day for both Tumblr, and its users. According to Mark Rizzn on MashableTumblepedia has been updated to describe new features, optimizations and bug fixes.

Looks like Tumblr is still alive and kicking. Hopefully, Tumblr will add all sorts of features that make this service just shy of being a killer.

Is Ticketapp The Twitter Yappd Killer

TicketAppTicketApp compares themselves to Twitter but I’d say they are a lot more than Twitter. TicketApps is a Tumblelog, todo list, note taker, image publisher, bug tracker and so much more. While Twitter may lay claim to the word “Tweets“, Ticketapp messages or postings are simply called “Tickets” Because this new service is like so many others, there are a lot of similarities.

Like Twitter, Ticketapp offers a public timeline where users can see recent tickets. These recent tickets can contain any number of different forms of content such as images, text and links but one thing missing from the equation is the ability to publish videos.

Edit Your TicketApp Profile

Users can customize their profile by adding their own avatar and adding a background image to their ticket page but that’s about it in terms of customization. When are sites going to enable users to come up with their own color schemes? It can’t be that hard. One last note about customization. Ticketapp provides an option to make your tickets public or private.

How Does This Thing Work?

Unlike Yappd or Twitter but similar to Tumblr, The TicketApp text editor gives users the ability to post quotes, images, links, and snippets of code by allowing these specific html tags to be used. I must admit, typing in HTML code is annoying and these tags should be substituted with buttons that perform these functions automatically for highlighted text. These tags are generally allowed on numerous blogs within their respected commenting areas so it’s interesting to see a service pick up on the notion of Twitter and provide this additional functionality. One other thing that is worth mentioning is that there is no character limit. You can go way beyond 140 characters if you choose to do so.

Ticketapp Text Editor

Will this service take off?

It’s hard to say. It’s nice to see a time line which isn’t merely all text but, Twitter is well established and so are the likes of Tumblr and Jaiku. The notion of having a service which is a clone of another is quickly wearing off and it’s really starting to drive many people up the wall. Perhaps with a few more UI changes, a publicly released API for third party support, and more options for user customization, this service may stand a chance to gain an acceptable userbase.

If you end up creating an account and giving it a try, please report back to us with your feedback and give us your opinion.

TwitterAdder 20 Random Friends

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For those of you having trouble finding so called ‘friends‘ on twitter, your in luck. Using TwitterAdder, you can now have 20 random people added as friends to your account.

TwitterAdder is the newest guy in the bunch to use the Twitter API. After you login to their site using your username and password, TwitterAdder then takes 20 random people and adds them to your friends list. I’m not going to give this service a try since I recently figured out how I want to use Twitter effectively. However, if you end up giving the service a try, let me know how the results turned out.

Yappd Finally Getting Somewhere

Yappd.com LogoYappd, the service that was awarded my first negative review which can be read here, has released a few updates which finally make the service worth using. These updates include uploading photos, public API and TinyURL Support.

Yappd members can now upload photos via their web site. Yappd has also added in support so that you’ll be notified if friends on your watchlist have posted any Yappd messages. If your a developer, and for some reason would like to integrate Yappd into your application or website, you can now visit http://yappd.com/api to tap into their Beta API.

Yappd claims they are focusing on the capabilities of their platform by allowing member’s of other microblogging websites, to have their other “messages” posted as Yapps automatically. Another item on their to do list includes, expanding their mobile carrier support for picture messaging and international support.

With these updates in mind, I may have to go back to the Yappd site and give it another try.

Is Tumblr Dead?

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Tumblr, the service that makes publishing to your blog a breeze seems to be showing signs that the service is dead. Granted, there have been no official announcements and the following is only my opinion based on observations that anyone can make. Upon visiting the official blog for Tumblr, the last post to be published – Tumbling Towards 2.0 was back on April 27, 2007.

The post goes on to describe the development of Tumblr 2.0 and what to look forward to. Since today is August 28th, many Tumblr users are beginning to scratch their heads, wondering what is going on. Take a look at the comments on their last blog entry and you’ll see users are already starting to ask if Tumblr is dead.

No one seems to know where Tumblr is heading. Wouldn’t that be interesting if Tumblr, tumbled into it’s own demise? As I said, it’s not for certain if the service is dead or not but all of the signs I’ve seen point to that observation. What do you think? Am I just blowing smoke?

*UPDATE* It would appear as though I’m not the only one who has brought this subject up within the past few days. Amit published a post a few days ago where Marco, a Tumblr team member responded to his post with the following comment:

Tumblr and Davidville are both doing great and we’re hard at work on Tumblr’s next release. We’ll have something to say on the blog when it’s ready, I’m sure.

This is not the Tumblr forum – it’s my personal site. Official Tumblr news will never be posted here.

But your comment is duly noted. Thank you.

SHOULDdoTHIS – The Internet Suggestion Box

Should Do This LogoHere is an interesting site I came across the other day. It’s quickly being referred to as the internet suggestion box. SHOULDdoTHIS resembles Twitter with unique spin on the micro-blogging idea.

This is one of the few services I have come across that supports logging in by using my OpenID user account, which made creating a registered account a breeze. I wish more sites would include this type of login access. In my opinion, OpenID will play a big role in creating a unified login across multiple sites. So the more sites that support OpenID, the better.

ShouldDoThis Text Box

While Twitter provides an avenue for you to tell the world ‘What Are You Doing?‘ SHOULDdoTHIS allows you to give your opinion as to what should be done, and who it should be done by. For example, in the ‘Someone Field‘ I typed in EA. In the ‘do something great field‘ I typed in ‘Should release one last major patch to Battlefield 2‘. Unlike the 140 character limit found on other micro-blogging services, there doesn’t appear to be any limit to the amount of text that can be placed within the ‘Do Something Great‘ field. After I clicked the submit button, my suggestion was published to my account where users can do a number of different things.

On the right hand side of the site, users can choose whether or not the suggestion is likely or unlikely to happen. Underneath of that, users can guesstimate when the suggestion will take place. Suggestions can be tagged but as I was browsing around, the tags feature didn’t appear to be used by quite a few people. Just like Twitter, each user has an RSS feed attached to their account. After adding a suggestion, there is a text area which appears at the bottom of the post which lets users give a detailed explanation as to their suggestion. I believe this is a nice touch as quite a few suggestions can not be explained in a short amount of detail.

My suggestions so far

Final Thoughts:

Everyone has an opinion, and this service let’s you get your opinion out in the open. If Robotcoop releases a public API for SHOULDdoTHIS, I see no reason as to why sites and services, especially those with actual products wouldn’t use something like this as a suggestion box. SHOULDdoTHIS is not a Twitter clone as I feel the service has taken the micro-blogging idea and put a very nice twist to it. Considering there are sponsored ads that appear on user account pages, this site already has a monetization model, but if they charged a price to use their service for commercial use, I think they would do very well.

If you sign up and give the service a try, let me know what YOU think.

Yappd Support Question Answered

Yappd.comYappd, the non Twitter Killer has responded to my support email. In my email, I asked them how to add images to Yappd postings. Here is what they replied to me with.

The way you add pictures right now is only by cell phone through picture message. Early next week we will add photos upload from the website.

You read it here first folks. Next week, Yappd will allow users to send images along with their posts. I don’t want to bag on Yappd anymore than I already have, (see my review Yappd Reviewed – Non Twitter Killer ) But this feature should of been released with the service on day 1. However, I’d say thanks to Yappd for responding to my email.