It seems that scarcely a week goes by these days without someone launching Yet Another Social Networking Site. There are more of them knocking around these days than you can shake a stick at: MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, Bebo, Jaiku, Wayn, Twitter, Second Life, LiveJournal, meetup.com … the list goes on.
Pownce is one of the latest newcomers, and I got an invite for it just before Faith Camp. It was founded by various Web 2.0 entrepreneurs including Kevin Rose of Digg fame and launched about a month or so ago with great fanfare. Its purpose, as it says on the home page, is to “send stuff to your friends”:
Pownce is a way to send messages, files, links, and events to your friends. You’ll create a network of the people you know and then you can share stuff with all of them, just a few of them, or even just one other person really fast.
Right. So what exactly does it do that you can’t already do with a combination of MSN Messenger and either Facebook or MySpace?
It seems that your home page on Pownce shows the latest things that you and all your friends have posted on the site, so to make the most of it you need to have a network of friends who are using it. Visually, it looks pretty slick, and the concept seems similar in some ways to Twitter, but it still seems a bit pointless to me.
Social networking sites can absorb a lot of your time if you let them. You can spend hours on Facebook alone, and with a plethora of new ones on the scene it can be hard to keep track of all of them. However, most of my friends only make regular use of the biggest, best known and most useful ones: MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, and maybe one or two others.
I wonder a bit if Web 2.0 is reaching saturation point somewhat. Or is it just another sign of the times we live in, where just as society re-invents itself every fortnight, the latest and greatest Internet phenomenon is a constantly and rapidly moving target?