I came across a new social networking site the other day that caught my eye. It’s called Pencourage - the name itself gives quite a clue to one of its intended uses - written encouragement.
I say ‘one of’ because, having only officially launched a matter of days ago, it’s still too early to say what users will consider Pencourage’s primary function.
With community-based social tools like this, it’s sometimes a good idea to keep your options open at the outset and see where your users take it - which is exactly what the creators appear to have done.
The main point of difference with the Pencourage offering is that users post anonymously, allowing them to perhaps express feelings or problems that they wouldn’t do with the people they know within their other networks - physical or virtual.
There are many filters for content types but there does, initially, appear to be a bias towards females discussing relationship issues. This is quite predictable, I guess - as that’s a topic common to very many people and advice or encouragement in this area can, to a degree, be given anonymously.
Aside of this, there’s a real encouragement for users to keep a daily journal. Most popular Social Networks encourage users to make status updates related to incidents that, frankly, can very often contain ill-considered, reactionary information of very little interest to the reader.
Making one update per day could be a positive move, and one that takes us back to the days when diaries were a lot more commonplace. And possibly more interesting?!
I wonder whether this is the area of social that Pencourage may blossom into, and whether whole digital journals, rather than daily entries, could become the main focus.
Aside of the positioning of the site, the design and build work well. The responsive layout above iPad screen size and the general feel of the site certainly give a nod to Pinterest.
I look forward to keeping an eye on this one and seeing how the future unfolds. Oh, and take a look at the nice animated intro page if you have a minute.