A Pownce and a miss for social networking

Call it consolidation, call it the economy, call it what you like, but don't post your thoughts to Pownce. After the 15th, the social-networking site won't be there anymore.

Blogging juggernaut SixApart announced on Monday the asset acquisition (read: "purchase") of microblogging site Pownce -- and followed it immediately with an announcement of its shutdown, effective in two weeks. Pro-level (paid) subscribers to the site will receive further information later on the disposition of their accounts.

Though Pownce had some interesting twists on the microblogging idea -- notably easy file-sharing and a party-invitation function a la Evite -- it's very hard to find your footing when your main market competitor's already "the verb" for your niche. Yahoo has to feel that sting every time someone talks about "googling" a fact; for Pownce, the competitor was Twitter, and such cultural nods as the Stewart/Colbert exchange on Election Night just had to have hurt.

The acquisition-slash-digestion includes the addition of the services of tech personality and co-founder Leah Culver, early Pownce supporters Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka (both of Digg), and developer Mike Malone.

Reaction among the Pownce fanbase was muted, with most announcing plans to simply shift their microblogging efforts to Twitter or FriendFeed. A few users have shifted operations to the quickly built PostPownce.com, but even those forums note that the new site's success is "questionable given how people are already scattering."

Gossip site Valleywag was more barbed, snarking a bit about Culver's copious social connections in the Valley and suggesting that her new SixApart gig would be a chance to "prove herself as a programmer, or not, out of the spotlight." (Culver, previously somewhat active on ValleyWag, has not commented on that post.)

When contacted by BetaNews for details on the acquisition/closure, Culver referred all questions to SixApart's PR staff.

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