Twitter vs. Pownce – Comparison with Rolling Updates

by 1389 on July 6, 2007

in 1389 (blog admin), Digg, social media, Twitter

Rolling updates follow the main body of this article.

As you may have noticed, 1389 is a frequent Twitter user. While I don’t claim that Twitter is perfect – it does suffer occasional glitches and outages – I find Twitter to be a useful and entertaining social networking tool, and one that has significant political, business, and educational uses as well.

Recently, several people associated with Digg showed up on Twitter to promote Pownce, which they consider to be a competitor to Twitter. I wondered whether the name Pownce was meant to suggest some beclawed feline predator capturing every Twitter bird that happens by.

Of course, I’m the last person who could claim to be unbiased here; I have leveled some heated criticism at Digg, its owners, its admins, its investors, and a good (or not-so-good) proportion of its user base. On the other hand, seeing so many Twitterers headed in that direction, I finally (and somewhat reluctantly) requested a Pownce invitation and signed up.

Well, guess what! I established an account, loaded up an avatar graphic, filled in my profile data, and clicked on a URL that allowed me to start adding friends. But that was it. As of today (7/3/07, 12:05 AM Eastern Time US), whenever I have tried to get into my own Pownce home page, namely, Pownce’s 404 screen has appeared every time. My guess is that the error has something to do with my having signed up with an all-numeric Pownce user ID. Even though Pownce allowed me to do that, this may have caused some other process within Pownce to break later on. Of course, once you sign up with a user ID, Pownce doesn’t let you change it if you find that it isn’t working properly.

But that’s not all. To my disgust, I found out that the only way I can see the messages I received earlier in the day is to rummage through the huge pileup of e-mail in my inbox. If I shut off the email option, then I can’t see if anybody is trying to send me a message. So I filled out a tech support form and haven’t gotten an answer. If they don’t fix it soon, I’ll have to chuck the whole thing, because all of that inbox e-clutter interferes with everything else I’m trying to do.

Status update as of 7/4/05:

I just want to assure everyone that everything has been fixed, and I’m now on Pownce as 1389. Thanks for fixing everything, and hope to see you all there!

Well, enough about me – you’re probably wondering what the rest of the folks who have used both Pownce and Twitter have to say. Which do they prefer, and why?

Rolling Updates: More News and Opinions

Be sure to read the comments for this blog post!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 July 3, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Hey, I just filed a bug report for this, thanks for the heads-up. We launched less than a week ago and I’m sure there are some kinks to work out such as this one. We’ll get on it as soon as we can. You might also want to check out Jeremy Keith’s review. I think he identifies what we’re trying to achieve pretty accurately:

2 July 3, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Funny when you find such an odd bug right out of the gate, eh? It’s an interesting story. I hope you get your preferred numbers. : )

3 July 6, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Hi Alida,

We had some troubles with numbers in usernames but that should be fixed. Sorry about all the email, you can go to to stop all email from Pownce (or just some of it if you like). So sorry for the slow response! Please email me at leahculver at gmail dot com (my personal email) if you are still unable to see your Pownce page.


4 July 6, 2007 at 4:44 pm

I just want to assure everyone that everything has been fixed, and I’m now on Pownce as 1389. Thanks for fixing everything, and hope to see you all there!

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