Here’s my Pownce page. My user name is Kent N. If you’re one of my blogging pals, add me as a Friend and we’ll put Pownce through its paces.
So far, it looks like it combines a web-based, Twitter-like conversation page with an IM-like application (pictured to the left) that allows you to send and receive messages, links, files and events. The first three are self-explanatory. Events are messages with associated dates- good for letting people know about, well, events. You can send any of the foregoing to the public, all of your Friends (the Web 2.0 word for contacts), or just a specified Friend. You can group your Friends into sets, which seems very handy for project collaboration, etc.
You can send files of up to 10MB. For $20 a year (Paypal accepted), you can send 100MB files and have an ad-free experience (though so far I haven’t seen any ads).
I sent my Friends an MP3 of my blues song Departing Passenger. Lucky fellows. The file uploaded reasonably fast and, presto, it was there on my Pownce page. There is a player application that loads a tad slow, but sounds good. The navigation below the player is a little jumbled, probably because of my monitor size and resolution. A lot of pages have this problem, including both Morningstar and CNN, which is surprising to me.
Finding friends is similar to Facebook. You search for them and then send a Friend request. The recipient can accept or decline. If the recipient declines, you become merely a Fan of that person. I’m going to apply my Pink Floyd Policy to Pownce, which means that I shall be merely a fan to no man (or woman).
Of all the times I have experimented with all the various IM and IM-like programs, right now and Pownce seem the most compelling to me. Twitter brought a lot of folks into the collaborative IM space and Pownce may just be the next evolutionary step. Stan Schroeder says Pownce may, in fact, be the Twitter killer (at least it isn’t Quixotically aiming at YouTube like everybody else). I think there’s room for both, though Twitter is clearly behind in the feature race. It’s too early to tell how well Pownce will scale, though it did have a short outage earlier tonight.
If Pownce wants to seep deeply into the IM space, it will need to address the same incompatibility problems the other IM applications face. As I have said before, IM needs to be like the telephone. Not like a series of tin cans tied to a proprietary string.
Now what I need is some Friends to use it with.
I have a few Pownce invitations to hand out. I’ll send them to the first 5 people who leave a comment asking for one, on the condition that everyone who gets one agrees to return to the comment thread here and send invitations to others in the queue. I am particularly interested in getting my core blogging buddies signed up.
You know who you are, so let’s get started.