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I met Kevin Rose co founder of Digg and Pownce a couple of times. I found him smart, funny and engaging. I signed up for Pownce after we met, over a year ago. But now Pownce is shutting down. I just woke up in Madrid with this email from them.

We are sad to announce that Pownce is shutting down on December 15,
2008. As of today, Pownce will no longer be accepting new users or new
pro accounts.
To help with your transition, we have built an export tool so you can
save your content. You can find the export tool at Settings > Export.
Please export your content by December 15, 2008, as the site will not
be accessible after this date.
Please visit our new home to find out more:
Our thanks go out to everyone who contributed to the Pownce community,

The Pownce Crew

Pownce was supposed to be a “better Twitter” but Kevin, founder of Pownce has become extremely famous on …Twitter. To me that is as if Steve Jobs used Blackberry as his main communication platform. Not good. Because as raw communication power goes with over 75K followers on Twitter (I only have 2500) Kevin is a walking PR machine. This ranking will give you a sense of how famous Kevin is on Twitter. He is only second to Barack Obama! Pity he could not use that power and the promotional tools of Digg (Diggnation) to make Pownce the success it could have been. And Twitter itself, as popular as it is, still needs to achieve two milestones: one is to get out of the geek community itself and truly go mainstream, and the other is to find a way to charge for its services. Charging for sending SMS would be a start. As the financial crisis continues and VC´s stop funding fame and finally seek fortune, Silicon Valley´s new motto will be “earn or die”.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Ivan Frantar on December 2, 2008  · 

What do you mean Twitter has to start charging for its services?… Do you think that’s the right business model for Twitter. I don’t think charging is the right thing for Twitter and i don’t think that’s the idea of Twitter founders or its philosophy.

As of Pownce, the problem with it was that it was better than twitter but in many unnecessary things. On twitter people is communicating fast, already passing links, using a hell lot of apps to interact with it. You don’t even need to go visit the site. In other words, it’s simple as nothing else can be and facilitate its use with an amazing API.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on December 2, 2008  · 

@ Ivan Frantar:

Ivan I know that as a user to say that Twitter it is painful to say that they should charge. But I am an entrepreneur and this blog is oriented towards building sustainable businesses. As a user you maybe excited to see Twitter grow and if Twitter was a not for profit all would be fine. But sorry if in this blog we wonder where the money is. And I do think that Twitter can make money delivering sms and charging for them for example.

Ivan Frantar on December 2, 2008  · 

True… I think they are working with phone companies at the moment to restore the service as far as I know and to work something out on the side you are mentioning. However, I don’t think they would be charging for its use. Perhaps creating PRO accounts where you can use your SMS services and pay a yearly fee to Twitter? Still a free use and limited of it. That would be closer to what Pownce did. Remains to be seen what they’ll do. In the meantime the have rejected without a doubt 500 million offer from facebook.

3.0 rating

José Maria Gil on December 5, 2008  · 

About Kevin Rose promoting Twitter all the time in diggnation, blog etc…I still don´t get it. He has always said that Pownce was not a competitor of Twitter, that Pownce was a way to share stuff with his friends, that he used it with a different purpose. I wonder it thatt is true, but anyways he did a ton more promotion of his twitter account.

About Twitter making money, pfffff, that is a tough one. I have no idea, but I think that charging the user should not be the way. But I am probably wrong, you jsut have to see the results of the Guy Kawasaki poll about that particular issue : http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/19/poll-more-than-half-of-twitter-users-would-pay/

3.0 rating

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