While there's still not a short code service to send in Pownce updates from your mobile phone, yesterday the service quietly rolled out a new mobile interface (m.Pownce.com) to let members both post and browse Pownce updates, including files. While I couldn't manage to get any sort of attachment to load, the interface itself is a big step up from having to load the entire page--especially on BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices; however, iPhone users are getting the best end of the deal as the site seems designed specifically for fingers and the large, portrait screen.… Read more
Facebook has several layers of functionality that make it worth using, but my favorite is the once-controversial news feed. Why? I simply don't have time to check each of my friend's profiles for what's new, and the feed does a pretty great job at that without all the legwork or annoying e-mail notifications. FriendFeed is a new service that takes the idea of a news feed and extends it beyond the social network into other social services you're a part of. There are more than 20 to pick and choose from, including social news services like … Read more
Featured on this week's Real Deal podcast: Twitter alternatives. Since our episode on Twitter back in May, a lot has changed in the world of nanoblogs. Twitter is not the only fruit. There's Jaiku and Pownce, both good competitors to Twitter. There's Facebook, which already has a "status" feature. And there are services like Profilactic and Twitterfeed for aggregating your status feeds (Jaiku is also a good aggregator). In just 15 minutes, Tom and I run through the options.
Here's the stream:
If you want to join the ongoing discussion, come on over to … Read more
There's a cool little utility, Twitterfeed, that performs a useful service: It can take almost any blog and feed it into a Twitter account, so you see new items when you're on Twitter or using any of the Twitter applications.
Twitterfeed can be used to do other cool things, too. Here's a walk-through of our top Twitterfeed projects: First, the basic blog-to-Twitter setup. Then, a trick with Twitterfeed to update Pownce and Twitter at the same time. And finally, how to use it to pump Facebook notifications into your Twitter account.Project 1: Blog-to-Twitter
To get your favorite blog into your Twitter feed, first decide if you want to create a new feed for it or feed the blog info into an existing feed, like your personal account. I recommend the former. Create a Twitter account just for the blog. Later, you can follow it from your personal Twitter account.
You will also need an OpenID account to log in to Twitterfeed. OpenID (review) is a very different site authentication system from what people are used to, but don't freak. If you don't have an OpenID, just go to MyOpenID and sign up for an account.
When you log in to Twitterfeed you'll need your new feed's password, and your OpenID. Tell it your blog's RSS address (a link usually ending in .XML) and how often you want it to check for new items (once an hour is reasonable), and then wait for Twitterfeed to start scanning. Once the feed is getting picked up, you can "follow" the new Twitter account to get the blog in your feed. And of course, your friends can follow it too.
I've found that Twitterfeed is particular about RSS formatting, but standard blog platforms (Wordpress, Blogger, Typepad, etc.) should generate code it can handle.
Adobe released the public beta of its Adobe AIR runtime environment (previously codenamed Apollo) about a month ago. The software is designed to allow the development of rich Internet applications that work on any operating system. I'm sure that there are technical differences, but it seems a lot like an amped-up widget engine to me.
Needless to say, AIR apps aren't nearly as ubiquitous as Adobe Flash apps (yet), but there have been a few interesting recent developments. The most-polished AIR application so far is Adobe Digital Editions, software for reading, downloading, and managing e-books. To learn more about it, check Seth Rosenblatt's First Look video for Adobe Digital Editions.
While Adobe Digital Editions might be the most powerful AIR app so far, the one with the most buzz is definitely the Pownce desktop client, a tool for sending content to your Pownce buddies and the Pownce Web site. (Pownce is currently in private alpha; jump down to the bottom of this post for info about how to request an invitation.)… Read more
I don't know if this is wrong or just weird. A few people have put Pownce invites up on eBay (buy-it-now price is $9.95). Let me remind everyone: it's a free service. And it's in alpha testing. Just wait for it to evolve a bit and open up to more people.
If you want an invite, I just got a few more. I'll give 'em out to the first people to fill out the form below. All gone, sorry.
Pownce (review), the new nanoblogging service that doubles as a person-to-person file transfer product, is often compared to Twitter. Both products enable you to "nanoblog" quick updates on what you're doing. But the products have fundamental and important differences, and if you're curious about which one you should be using, you need to know about them. (Jaiku is also an important product in this space; more on it further down.)
Stick with your friends
The big issue: It has nothing do to with design or features. It's the community. Your community. If you want to … Read more
Kevin Rose, of Digg and Revision 3 fame, just launched an invite-only alpha of his latest project, Pownce. Pownce lets you share files, links, and other info with your friends. It's not an original concept. Yet Pownce makes an extremely good first impression. (Earlier, we had invites to give out--but we're sorry, they're all gone now.)
Pownce strongly reminds me of Tubes (review) and Izimi (review), and little less so of AllPeers (stories) and Pando (quick hit). It's also reminiscent of the file-transfer feature of various instant-messaging clients.
There's also a heavy dose of Twitter (stories) in Pownce. Every time you send a file or note, it's added to your running feed of activities that anyone can view; likewise, it's easy to see the public feeds of other users and the private items posted by your friends.
You can send items to individuals on your list, to everyone, or to groups you set up (for example, you can have a family group, a group for a project at work, and so on).
At the moment, Pownce lets you send plain text notes, URLs, files, and event invitations (and it tracks RSVPs). I would not be surprised to see audio or video recording functions built into the product, which would make Pownce an interesting alternative to Twittergram.
Pownce works through a Web page, and there's also a slick Adobe AIR (formerly Apollo) desktop app.
It's easy to discount Pownce as a me-too concept. In fact, it's several. But it's extremely well put-together--capable yet easy to get into and use. And useful. And fun. Try it if you can.