Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pownce is Dead. Long Live Pownce, #PW

This doesn't look like a part 3 look at Twitter, but it really is.

After the very poorly thought out decision from Six Apart (again I stress Very. Poorly. Thought. Out. Decision), the small, but dedicated Pownce community was scattered. Most of us have found a home on Twitter and as you have seen I and others have adopted the platform and are enjoying the simple flexibility given by the service.

For those of us Pownce survivors who have stuck around Twitter, we have found it becoming ever more difficult with the noise to keep track of that core group. I don't mean theres an issue of elitism or being cliquish so much as just being able to find each other. After a small exchange with some brilliant, resourceful and fellow Pownce refugees, we agreed to start using Hash tags.

And that's what brings about the subject of this post and final discourse into getting people acquainted with Twitter. There are two well put together articles here and here that will go into better detail on how hash tags work than I could ever post here. Hash tags have been used in Twitter to direct a conversation and to keep thought together in a coherent stream. One can use Twitter Search through the web or through many desktop clients to keep track of tagged conversations. Tweetdeck users can even create a group using a specific search term which works flawlessly.

A big example of hash tags at work was last week's inauguration of Barack Obama. Tweets marked with the hash tag, #inag09 were able to follow people that were at the event, follow well wishers, and keep a discussion together about the event. So how can this be used for the Pownce refugees?

#PW is that tag that has been agreed to originally to give this live action experiment it's first test run. This will either succeed or fail based on if users want to use this for any amount of time. I'm frankly hoping it's only a temporary fix, but one that can help keep an amazing group together.

Here also is a small list of the other projects born of the recent shutdown of Pownce. If you were a member, you'll be able to track the old gang easily by taking some time to add some more services into your social media diet:

Ning - Pownce2 You can even track this hash tag within the site!
Topixz - In Beta (please join) This is the closest thing that we Pownce users have to the old service.
Schmownce - We're all waiting to see what happens of this service
Tumblr - This has the freedoms which is an attractive micro blogging platform, but it's hard to communicate to other users. The biggest credit to Tumblr will be to open up the platform and allow comments without the complications of bringing in a third party.

Apologies to any services I forgot. Please let me know if there has been any other gatherings outside of my list for ex Pownce users.