Pownce Thoughts Plus 10 Invites

http://www.pownce.comAlthough this won’t be a thorough review, I thought I would post my thoughts on Pownce. I now have a total of 10 invitations to the service. If you want one, please leave a comment which includes a working email address and I’ll send you one.

First, you have to ask yourself, how much free time in the day do you have to join yet another social network. Twitter, Jaiku, ect and now Pownce. In order to be successful within these social networks you either have to be popular in the real world, or you need to actively contribute and participate within the community for that particular service. Do you have the time to do so?

Honestly, I think if someone were to take the best of Twitter, with the best of Jaiku, added a few features that Pownce has, establish an open API, you would have something that blows all three out of the water. I don’t think Pownce has what it takes to knock Twitter or Jaiku off the map. Pownce reminds me more of an instant messenger client rather than a micro blogging service which is why I don’t understand why so many people are comparing Pownce to the likes of Twitter and Jaiku.

I would rather see a review of Pownce as it compares to AIM, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, ect. Then we could really see what Pownce has to offer. One thing I noticed with Pownce is that they at least have some sort of revenue stream by offering an ad free client for $20.00 Something AIM nor any other messenger offers. Jaiku has a few Google ads on the right hand side of it’s site, but I wonder how much revenue they bring in.

Simple and short, Pownce defines what it means to be beta. There are quite a few things missing that would make Pownce a complete package, open API to name one of them. Hopefully, the Pownce team will remedy the shortfalls associated with the client. I am looking forward to watching Pownce give all of the other instant messenger clients a run for their money.

I have a total of 10 invitations. Simply leave a comment on this post with a valid email address and I will send you one, then you can provide us with your own opinion.

Web 2.0 Convergence

Valeria Maltoni posted an email she received from Greg Verdino which contained a paragraph that struck a chord with me.

One biggish issue that nobody is really talking about is that anyone who starts using more than one of these services (or multiple social networks, sharing sites, etc) finds herself with multiple circles of friends, constantly updating various profiles/status posts, etc – there isn’t any way for a user to bring all of their stuff/friendships/updates together in a single interface — which can be a real pain if you’re in MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, Flickr, Photobucket, YouTube and del.icio.us. YIKES!”

Wow, this guy hit the nail on the head! Bill Gates always seems to talk about convergence with technology but I feel that because of the amount of Web 2.0 sites/services, social networks that have sprung up across the web, now would be a good time for a business venture to figure out, Web 2.0 convergence. Right now, users could probably get away with using RSS feeds on different sites in order to converge their online presence. Let me give you an example.

I use Twitter and Jaiku, two micro blogging platforms. Twitter being the main service that I use to post updates and links to my blog. I take my Twitter RSS feed and post it into Jaiku so that my Twitter updates can be viewed on Jaiku. I also take my Twitter feed and place it into my Tumblr account so that Twitter updates are displayed on my Tumblelog. Facebook has a Twitter application which takes care of my Twitter updates showing up on my Facebook account.

The downside to using this method is that, most of these sites do not check RSS feeds in real-time. At the very least, the feeds are checked once per half hour, meaning that what you post on twitter now, wouldn’t appear on any other site that is displaying your Twitter RSS feed for at least 30 minutes. Sure it’s not real time, but it works.

What I am trying to accomplish, is to join these other social networks and then join the communities inside of those networks that correspond to the content on my blog. I’m trying to build power profiles on these specific sites which will provide updates to my friends attached to those profiles, hopefully via Twitter.

Sorry for going on a tangent here but reading that paragraph up above sparked this response! Just thought I would share what I am trying to do in order to converge all of this stuff so I am not doing what is described above, being apart of 50 different networks, spending all of my time providing separate updates to those sites. What a nightmare that would be.

Friend Redefined

I was trolling around my blog feeds the other day and came across a post, written by, Valeria Maltoni of Conversation Agent. The article revolves around the question, Are There Too Many Social Networks? Near the middle of this post, Valeria says the following:

How many friends do you really have? How many people can you really call friends? I mentioned I have an extensive network in a previous post, these are not all friends and most do not read my blog.

This is something I have been thinking about for quite some time. Here we are, in the middle of this web 2.0 social networking craze, adding people as friends that may not be friends at all. If I were to ask a majority of social networking users if most of the people on their friends list could actually be considered friends, I have a hunch that the answer would be no, which leads me to my next question.

With the advent of social networks, has the term FRIEND lost it’s meaning? Just because a user is on your friends list, does that make them a true friend? According to Wiktionary, a friend is defined as, A person other than a family member, spouse or lover whose company one enjoys and towards whom one feels affection. Can you honestly say that you feel this way towards everyone on your friends list?

If the meaning of the word FRIEND has changed, due to social networking on the web, then what would the new definition be? Am I paranoid, or does anyone else see a problem here?

Would You Pay For An Invite?

In a recent post, I described a conversation I had with my father concerning invitations and if there was a business opportunity in the making by perhaps, selling these invitations. Here is what was discussed.

I asked my dad if he thought that perhaps, there would be some sort of business opportunity surrounding invitations to these new services. Allow people to bid on an invite or pay a low price. My father responded by saying “people won’t pay for something that is free, or that they could obtain by some other means.”

Turns out, my father was wrong. While browsing around on Ebay, I came across a few auctions in which the item being sold was an invitation to GrandCentral, the new service which was acquired by Google. Here is a link to an auction that has already ended as you can see, there are other auctions taking place, asking for as much as $10.00 for the invitation.

Now I can’t wait to tell my dad that people are willing to pay money for something that really has no monetary value. Would you be willing to pay for an invite?

By Invitation Only


Sam Harrelson has put together a nice post detailing the buzz surrounding the GrandCentral acquisition. Sam discusses the activity with GrandCentral before the acquisition and then after. Once GrandCentral was acquired, Google then locked down the system to new users by making it an invite only service. Because of the acquisition and the move to an invitation only service, the interest in GrandCentral has skyrocketed.

Sam makes an excellent analogy between GrandCentral and the recently launched service, Pownce. Pownce, Kevin Rose’s new startup has become the hot commodity to be invited to. Everyone and their mother is seemingly still trying to grab an invite to the service, although it is not necessarily brand new.

Whats the moral behind this story? If your a Web 2.0 startup, lock down your service. Invite a couple of big name web sites to review your service and give them the ability to hand out a number of invites. Those who read the reviews will then have an opportunity to sign up to your service and in return, invite their friends. You can see where this is going. Although the invitation only technique only works for a prolonged period of time, it is hard to argue against it’s effectiveness. I suppose being part of a locked down community gives users the impression that they are special, that they are among a group of elitists.

I asked my dad if he thought that perhaps there would be some sort of business opportunity surrounding invitations to these new services. Allow people to bid on an invite or pay a low price. My father responded by saying “people won’t pay for something that is free, or that they could obtain by some other means.”

Whatever the case may be, the strategy of being an invite only service in the beginning appears to be a winning one!

My Rant Against Defining Web 3.0

Apparently, web 2.0 won’t be around for as long as 1.0. During a conference held at the Red Herring East building in Boston, panelists gathered around to discuss Web 3.0. According to the panelists, web 3.0 would be a period where users generate content for fervor, not for cash.

The economic structure of Web 3.0 will rely on advertising, said Michael Jones, chief executive of Userplane, a provider of communications software for online communities that was acquired by AOL in 2006. But unlike the scattershot approach of much of today’s online advertising, users will be served Web. 3.0 messages tailored to their interests and location.

“Advertising money is shifting to the Web because of targeting and direct response,” Mr. Davis said. “In the next couple of years you’ll see a big shift.”

Who are these guys to say what web 3.0 will be? Sure, their is the O’Reilly web 2.0 definition which everyone seems to cite as the premiere definition but quite honestly, most people have come up with their own interpretation as to what web 2.0 represents. It’s ok to look into the future, but please don’t define what Web 3.0 will be. For Pete’s sake, let web 2.0 sink in before you begin to mention web 3.0.

Click Here To See My Source Of Frustration

Is IM That Big Of A Threat?

In response to S.M. Schrama’s post on IM Forms A Security Risk To Companies I too believe that, IM should not be stopped on a corporate network. I think the company in question should definitely put together a list of guidelines for using an IM protocol on a corporate network but it shouldn’t be banned. If Pownce is a sign of the future in instant messaging, I don’t think we will have to worry about malicious code attacks via the IM protocol.

Internet Radio Day Of Silence

Day Of Silence For Internet RadioReadWriteWeb is reporting that beginning tomorrow June 26, 2007, thousands of webmasters who operate online radio stations will observe a day of silence to protest the rate increase of 0.012 cents per song, per listener, from the current 0.007 cents rate.

Sites such as Live365, Pandora, SHOUTcast, Rhapsody and many more will be participating in the day of silence. It looks like Last.FM won’t be participating, and I think it’s recent acquisition by CBS may be the reason why.

Personally, I think this is the equivalent of Americans refusing to purchase gasoline for a day. It looks like it could work on paper, but in reality, it is a lost cause. I do think however, that giving users a taste of what it might be like without net radio may actually tip some users over the fence and actually get them off their butts to call their local representative, however, in most cases, I don’t see this blackout as having any major effect to what may be coming down the pike.

I will truly miss Pandora if it goes under. I’ve only started using it recently and I love it. Now, the big bad record companies are going to take it away from us. What do you think about this situation? Will you take some time out of your day tomorrow to call your representative to try and save internet radio?

Who Needs Privacy?

As illustrated by Nick Douglas writer for Valleywag and a recent article on Mashable.com written by James Mowery titled Stalking 2.0 have users switched from wanting to remain anonymous to practically being stalked and not giving a hoot about privacy anymore? As most of us know, anonymity on the Internet is a tough thing to come by. Some say it doesn’t even exist. Why is it then, that so many people are using Web 2.0 services that practically broadcast everything they do with their computer system to the web?

It is unnerving to see so many users literally broadcasting much of their personal information to the web. I feel that if this trend of broadcasting ones life to the Internet continues, there will be a sharp increase in the amount of cases that deal with identity theft. Each one of these broadcasting services is a piece of a puzzle, collect enough pieces and you can put together a comprehensive profile on a specific person. One thing is for sure, browsing the web and going through a user’s online presence to compile personal information is a whole lot easier than hacking into a user’s system.

The next time I hear someone complain about Google and how much information they store on their users to accommodate targeted advertising, I am going to remind them that there are folks like Nick Douglas who can likely find the information they need about a particular person within 60 minutes of browsing each social networking site that a user may be apart of. Not every guy is as nice as Nick, and I whole heartedly believe that the social engineering types are gleaming with joy as the information they needed to work so hard to obtain is now given to them on a silver platter.

Who else is concerned about what is going on? Do I and others have nothing to worry about?