Breaking open Pinyadda

December 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

Pinyadda is a social networking/news website that aims to engage users through comments. It’s like a social network plus RSS reader. In theory, the site makes a lot of sense. The world is addicted to social networking, and news is vital, so why not combine the two? The problem arises in the necessity for user interaction. The site depends solely on people joining, getting their friends to join, and actively using the site.

It’s a little unclear who the site is targeting. It’s focused on spreading news with intellectual comments, but then rewards users with badges and points for using the site more and more. Would news junkies be into that? I’m not sure. Also, the color scheme/layout of the site is a little juvenile.

To be honest, in a world with Facebook and Twitter, it seems unlikely that another social networking tool can edge it’s way into the competition (but I discredited Twitter when it began, so there’s a good chance I’m too skeptical). Pinyadda incorporates Facebook and Twitter, but the question arises: Why not use those sites in the first place? It’s easy enough to share news with your friends on both of those sites already. And I like having my RSS reader independent from social networking (I also deleted my Twitter account this summer and didn’t get a Facebook account until about a year ago. I prefer to avoid the distraction of social networking).

So, the site isn’t for me. But objectively, I like the idea of hearing from friends about interesting things to read, and that’s what the site is all about. Not to sound like a sheep, but if all my friends were on it, I would be too. I did a little experimenting with it (view my profile here) and it’s really only fun when someone you know comments on something. Otherwise, you’re just having a conversation with someone you don’t know/will never meet, which I’m not too keen on. But this article from the Nieman Journalism lab would disagree. I think I’m just from a different time.

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