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This article was published on December 11, 2007

TownNote: Resistance is futile

TownNote: Resistance is futile
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

TownNote - Messages we send together (Group eCards)It would be easy to dismiss TownNote after looking at its 1999 style website for more than 1 second. It seems like nothing more than yet another digital eCard service. But after playing around with it for a minute and using it to send a group note to one person I suddenly understood the power of sending a card to one person with a group. So am I sold on the subject? Well…

TownNote makes it possible to send an eCard to one or more recipients and have it signed by a whole group. The concept is deceivingly simple and there is no sign of the usual banners, gradients and keywords associated with Web2.0 here. It just does what it does and it does it without flair or much fanfare.

So why do I write about it? Well, because although this isn’t a sexy service it did remind me, slightly, of a similar non-sexy service that I checked out in early 1996: Blue Mountain Arts.

“What, 780 million for an eCard service???”

You might not remember it but this was one of the first eCard services around. Nobody seemed to notice them but then one day they announced that they were bought by [email protected] for a whopping $780 Million! Everybody in the internet industry looked up and said ‘What, 780 million for an eCard service???’. Until we looked at the numbers. It turned out that Blue Mountain Arts was THE viral growth company. Everybody was sending everybody eCards and Blue Mountain Arts was the central hub connecting everybody to everybody. It seemed to make sense.

And now there is TownNote. Will it rock the world? Become another Blue Mountain Arts? Not likely. But I’m sure it is possible, even for 1999 style design anti-Web2.0 businesses to build traffic with a simple mechanism that makes it easier to communicate with each other. So check the website, ignore it and then in a week or two, when you start receiving eCards (signed by your aunt, uncle, and all your nephews) think about this post, and send us a TownNote too.

UPDATE: better looking and more Web2.0 too is Not to be confused with Squidoo by the way. I guess resistance isn’t futile after all. ;-)

UPDATE II: Charles Duze from TownNote contacted me to let me know that they aren’t even IN beta yet and we can expect more new soon. Looking forward to it!

[WebTipr: David Petherick]

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