The Start of the Social Media Purge?

My plane landed in Dallas last night and just as I have done a hundred times, I reached for my phone to see what I missed during my flight. I opened my email to find the following;

Yes, Pownce…one of the original “micro-blog, what I am doing, file sharing” sites was shutting down.  Now, in all fairness to Pownce, the company was acquired by Six Apart (annoucement on Six Apart blog here) and I am sure this is an acquisition of talent and ideas as much as anything.  The rock stars at Pownce; Leah CulverMike Malone and Ariel Waldman have all moved over to Six Apart and along with them, their extraordinary talent and ideas.  I am sure Six Apart is a much better company because of it.

I was an early user of Pownce (back when you had to get an invite to join) and I did so enthusiastically.  I found many friends and colleagues already there and loved how you could attach media to your post to enable easy views or downloads.  Pownce did not have some of the limitations of Twitter and was a useful way to get your message out, let people know what you were up to and to follow those you knew.  Now, it is gone.

It makes me wonder if this is the first of many “fallouts” by companies providing great social networking tools.  Right now the big kids on the block (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and more) seem to continue to grow not only in size, but services (sometimes third party mind you).  But it seems, allot of companies are doing basically “the same thing.”  Is Jaiku really that much different than Twitter?  The examples are endless.  Are we beginning to see the large squeeze out the small, the “first to the space” to squeeze out the later in not only terms of usage but funding dollars.

It seems the economic times have reached right into the world of social media and the first ones to take the hit are the start-ups that bring us the coolest new widgets and gadgets.  Many will go the way of Pownce and find someone with the dollars to help the dream continue or just…go away.  With venture capital money going out extremely selectively many of these start-ups will be gobbled up by those with the new currency of acquisition, stocks.  Having said that, almost all the past ‘high tech high flyers’ are trading no where near where they were this time last year,  so stock deals will also be selective.  Maybe again, if these start-ups are lucky, they can find a company with some dollars willing to trade talent and ideas for debt.

Tough times reach everywhere.  Everything is linked to everything else somehow, someway.  Social media is no exception.  As much as I loved and will miss Pownce, I believe the acquisition of Pownce is the start of a trend where many social media companies do the same.  Hopefully they will have the talent of a Pownce and be an acquisition candidate and not just fade away.

So Goodbye Pownce you will be missed.  And with that, I make my final post to a great idea and a great website.

One Response

  1. New Gadgets | The Start of the Social Media Purge? Says:

    Outstanding post. Right on in your observation.

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