So yesterday it was announced that one of the most touted (or should that be “Towted”?) to be successful Web 2.0 platforms – Pownce – is shutting it’s doors from December 15th 2008. The reason? Because Six Apart (the company that bought Pownce) want to integrate it with their own blogging platform, Vox, as mentioned in a press release.
We have been impressed not only with the vision for Pownce but the great work of Leah Culver and Mike Malone and are very happy that they will be joining us. We’re also very excited to welcome Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka as advisers to Six Apart. The Pownce team and Six Apart share the same passion for social blogging and we’re really proud to have them on board
I remember when Pownce was launched last summer. Every blogger and their wife were after one of the precious alpha invites.
There was a good reason behind it’s early popularity. One of the chaps behind the launch, Kevin Rose is well known for his ability to create awesome web startups. For one, he created Digg, the popular news website. He’s also been on TV and Revision3, and is one of the few people involved in Web 2.0 that everybody knows his name. Long story short, it was probably going to get a lot of buzz.
And buzz it did. Unfortunately, it couldn’t capture the market, and yesterday Six Apart acquired it, to integrate with it’s blogging platform – Vox.
One problem I believe it wasn’t sufficiently different from Twitter in the way something like, say, Plurk is. Twitter works because people have gotten used to hosting images on Twitpic, or video on Youtube. To get it all wrapped into one, whilst benefitting power users, may have confused the average Joe a little bit.
Another problem I believe was Kevin Rose. He seemed a little reluctant to get behind Pownce, whilst his Twitter Feed was showing a monumental amount of updates (check out his Friendfeed which combines the two). It’s be like Sir Alex Ferguson being seen at Anfield every weekend. If one of the people most associated with a website cannot get behind it, why should the users? This is something Six Apart has immediately addressed in their press release, by saying this:-
For Pownce users, we are very sorry the site will be closing. We welcome you to join us on Vox – Leah and Mike are there! – and we hope the Pownce and Vox communities can come together, just as the teams have, towards a better future.
Well done Six Apart.
Of course, the question is now which one of these web startups is next? Looking at them, I can’t see any of them making a profit, instead seeming to be a labour of love by the the owners. Be interesting to see if they’ll continue next year or so, especially in these difficult economic times.
Did you have a Pownce account? What did you make of it?