This morning, I was pointed in the direction of a website called Throwww, which describes itself as "the easiest way to write something and share it." Having created my own similar product, I was interested to find out what was different about it.
At first glance, the major differences are obvious. A light colour scheme, a separate field for "article title," and an option to publish the work anonymously. Aside from that, most of the features remain more or less the same. However, there is a big difference in the philosophy behind the two sites.
The creator of Throwww tells us that he created it as a solution to overly complex blogging platforms. We know that this product is designed to be a blogging platform. That's obvious from the first time we open it, and is confirmed by Saeid's post explaining why he built it. And therein lies the difference between Throwww and Onword. Throwww was designed to write blog posts. Onword was designed to write.
Fishing Rods vs. Fish
Limitations are often the keys to a product's success. One of the reasons Twitter has grown beyond comprehension was because of it's characteristic (pun unfortunate, but intended) 140 character limit. Before Facebook was made more publicly available, it's allure was the result of it's being limited to a select number of schools that could sign up. And Throwww may very well see great success thanks to it's blogging-platform style. But when I made Onword, I wanted to give the user a fishing rod, not a fish.
I've seen Onword used for blog posts. I've also seen it used for shopping lists, lecture notes, bookmarks, code snippets, short stories, and things that are just a little too much for 140 characters. With user pages, people can create their own blog with nothing more than a Twitter account on Onword.
It's Not a Competition
I'm not trying to point out weaknesses in Throwww. I think it's an incredibly exciting product, and a fresh new approach to blogging with a lot of potential. I'm just pointing out the differences that I see, and talking out loud about the choices I made when building Onword now that I have a similar product to compare it to. But it's no competition. Throwww will be much more suited to many user's needs where Onword falls short, and vice versa.
I'm excited to see Throwww continue to grow, and see what lessons I may learn from it.