Yesterday, TechCrunch posted a note about micro-blogging website, Pownce releasing an updated API to programmers this coming Friday. The comments seem to be swayed towards most people disliking Pownce. People saying things like "Let it die" and "I can do this through email, im, or something else" and I think people are either a) missing the point or b) to set in their twittering ways to give anything else a shot.
The "let it die" comments I will leave be. These people offer no reason as to why TechCrunch should stop writing about the still very much active service, they just want to troll. It is the other set of comments I want address. Those comments that say things like, "I can do this with email or instant messaging. Why do I need Pownce?" seem to really be forgetting one thing the internet is about, choice.
Sure, you could use email, instant messaging, your blog, facebook, myspace, or some other site or application to accomplish the same goals you can with Pownce. The problem is the same could be said about a blog, email, instant messaging, twitter, facebook, myspace, and about a million other sites that exist on the internet. You could instant message, text message, or email your friends; but Twitter is extremely popular. Why is this argument not applied to Twitter? Same thing could be said about Facebook and your personal address book. Why do you need to write on somone’s "wall" to tell them something when you could do it with a phone call, text message, or an email? It seems to me that people saying "we can do all this with something else" don’t want their argument to apply to social network and other websites they probably use on a daily basis. If we were to follow these people’s logic then blogs are completely pointless because we have newspapers.
One of the greatest things about the internet is the fact that you can release a product that is almost exactly like another product and if your product is better, then it will be more popular and people will come to it in droves. Now, the reverse to that on the internet is the "first" concept. If you have a nifty product concept and you go public first, then the end result is you will be the popular product regardless of stability, usability, and feature set. Want examples? Try Twitter and MySpace. Twitter breaks constantly and MySpace is just horrible to look at where as Facebook actually works as a social network. But Twitter and MySpace were here first, so guess what? They have the userbase, which means they are the popular product.
Just because someone was first to release a cool concept does not mean that they are the best at delivering that concept. Facebook and MySpace is a perfect example of this. I find Facebook to be far superior to MySpace (I realize that’s a personal opinion). Pownce works as the micro-blog that lets you display photos, movies, and music. It also lets you easily share links, something that Twitter does but not all that well. I am not saying that Pownce is better than Twitter, because I think they serve two different purposes. They can be used in a similar manner, however. The thing is, Pownce doesn’t have an easy way to update while on the go and until I can update it via SMS or IM, it really will not get Twitter’s following. Twitter, on the other hand needs to get its act together otherwise people will jump ship eventually.
So, just because someone doesn’t use a particular service, does not mean the service does not have merit. On the internet, just about everything has its place. If it doesn’t then it goes away. The fact that Pownce is still around, still being actively worked on, and that people actively post to it, shows that its not ready to go away just yet.