I use most of the new social web services that come out (at least the more popular ones) at least once. I have active accounts on Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce and I have found it a bit difficult to consistently stick to one service so I have been using all 3 in varying degrees. Not too long ago I used Jaiku almost exclusively until I decided to rather use Jaiku as one of a couple lifestreaming services I use (others include Plaxo Pulse and FriendFeed).
I have tended to use Twitter as my primary “status” service and I have a bunch of contacts on Twitter already so it makes sense to keep using it. That being said, I really like Pownce (good design gets my attention) and I would like to find a place for it in my online repertoire that makes sense. A number of people cross-post to Twitter and Pownce simultaneously and if you see Pownce as a glorified Twitter then I suppose that makes sense.
Pownce and Twitter are both services I enjoy using and which feed into mylifestreamservices which are, in turn, intended to be convenient points of contact for people who want to keep tabs on what I am doing, saying and creating. So it doesn’t really make sense for me to have two identical streams of content running into my lifestreams.
At the same time there is tension between Pownce and Twitter and the groups of people who regard their preferred service as the better one. I can see how people could think that Pownce is a Twitter/Jaiku competitor (I certainly did for a while) but I don’t believe that this perception is accurate. Pownce’s competitors, if anything, are email and perhaps even tumblelogs although Pownce is really more of a messaging platform than a tumblelog lite. I listened to an interview with Pownce founders Leah Culver and Daniel Burka earlier today because I really wanted to get to the real business model as a way of working out where Pownce fits into my toolkit. I recommend the interview because, in it, Leah talks about her vision of Pownce and it isn’t to replace Twitter. It is a pretty flexible messaging service and given a number of suggestions that IM is going to replace email as the preferred communication tool of choice, Pownce as a messaging platform makes a lot of sense to me. So you can use Pownce as a Twitter-style tool but try thinking of it more as an email-style tool.
Heck, people are even using Twitter in ways that it was not intended to be used. Twitter is designed to answer a single question: “What are you doing?”. It isn’t meant to be a general chat service but because of features like the @ reply thingy and even direct messages, that is what it is used for daily. Me? I’d rather open an IM session for a chat. At least then I can better track what people are saying to me.