Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

If Digg is Mob Mentality, Pownce is a Clique

Sat, 06/30/2007 - 12:12 -- rprice

I recently posted a comment on Mashable I'd like to share with you, my subscribers. The post was Rise of the Rose Bashers? and it pointed out people who have never used Kevin Rose & company's new IM/filesharing service, Pownce.

At the moment, one of the most popular stories on Digg is entitled: “Kevin Rose & Pownce Get Pwned by Uncov“, in which potshots are taken at Rose and Pownce. Further insults are piled on by the Diggers.

The digg audience is almost entirely made up of followers, not leaders. That’s actually the business model for the whole damned site! It’s not a big surprise to me that a service that allows for individuality and groups and privacy would not appeal to the “me too” crowd. Digg users don’t like being told they can’t do something - they’re spoiled in that way. That’s why the HD-DVD code was such a big deal, and the comments changes too. If one person has a contrary idea and they can be persuaded, the Diggers will glom on so they can be “cool”. This is how pop/anti-pop culture works.

If this doesn’t apply to you personally, great. Generalities are not ultimatums. There is a sliding scale, I’ll be the first person to admit to that.

Pownce (without having used it) seems like a “friends only” type of service - it will end up having a completely different audience because the service is fundamentally different. You’re not sharing with the world, but custom groups. This is Facebook vs. MySpace. One is for friends, one is for the public. The type of audience you see on these sites is very different. A service that gave you the best of both worlds was LiveJournal, with friends only, private and public posts, as well as custom groups. This is just that idea with a focus on IM and file sharing.

I think Digg has proven over its 3? years of existence that it's not going anywhere - actually, I wish they'd exapnd the service to include geographic categories - like countries, states, metropolitan areas - Outside.in is currently my choice for that kind of stuff, and Ma.gnolia could be if we could get some people using the service. I think that's the big thing with any of these Web 2.0 ideas - if nobody participates, it doesn't matter how good your service is. I'm working on a social networking site, and I'm planning to make my own local content offering, so I now see that you not only need to convince one group of users but that group ans several of their friends. This is the real trick. How do we do that?

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