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Vitamin CH Chocolate: that substance without which we would get nothing done

Twitter's instability lately has made the news all over the web. While I love the cute 404 pages and the whale of tale that you get when the servers are too overloaded, I have felt increasingly disconnected from parts of my network because of the problems. On June 1st, a friend invited me to try out a new site: Plurk.com

Plurk is based on the same kind of idea as Twitter: Share your status, questions, comments, posts, etc. with friends, fans, and the public. Neither of these ideas are new. In fact, I started testing Tangler.com over a year ago. They do threaded conversations where you can add pictures, sounds, and movies directly to the conversations. (And, yes, Dek - I know it has been awhile since I stopped by!)

Plurk's difference comes in how you see the conversations. In Twitter (and most of the other conversation based sites I have ever played with, the conversation is vertical. You make your comments, they show up on the page. Refresh the screen and new comments show at the top of the page and old ones roll off to the next page.

In Plurk, you have a horizontal timeline showing who is saying what and how many comments have been made on the plurk. (In case you hadn't guessed, a plurk is a post. More on that in a moment.)

In this timeline, you can see plurks from several of my friends. Each plurk starts with the person's avatar, then provides the screen name, a verb and the plurk itself. After the plurk, there may be an ellipses if the plurk was longer than one line. If there is an ellipses, hovering your cursor over it will show the whole plurk. At the end of the plurk is a number. This is the number of replies that have been made to this plurk.

This last is one of the things I really like about Plurk. I can see exactly how many responses there have been to a plurk. Helps me know if it has been updated since I joined the conversation or if it is a plurk I might want to check into.

Notice that the plurks all have a white background? If any of them had a yellow background, that would indicate that it is a new plurk that I haven't read yet. If the number is in a red box instead of a white one, it means that there are comments I haven't read yet.

Unlike Twitter, Plurk updates all the time. If there are new comments or plurks that you haven't seen, there will be one or two comments at the bottom of the time line, like this:

(If there were new plurks to read, that would be followed by an indication of the number of new plurks as well.)

Click the View link, and your timeline changes to show just the plurks with responses you haven't seen yet. Click the view link for new plurks and you will be taken to the newest area of the timeline to see the newest plurks.

Underneath the timeline is your area for plurk information. I've annotated the shot so you get an idea of what is going on with your personal area. There's a lot of information packed in this small space, and a lot of functionality too!

 

 

Karma is a ranking of how long and how much you have done in the plurk world. Karma increase as you Make and respond to plurks Gather friends and fans Fill in your profile

As your karma goes up, more options become available to you. Higher karma gets you more emoticons to choose from, more things to fill in on your profile, and more customization options for your page.

The other neat thing about Plurk is that the posts aren't just intended to be information exchanges. Each plurk starts with a verb. By default, that verb is the word "is", but there are several others - as you can see here:

 

Freestyle plurking is done without verbs. I use this option most frequently when I want to say something but the verb I need isn't on the list. My most frequent one is "wonder", but there are others as well. 

The one thing I have found dissatisfying about plurk is the fact that I can't search for other people or specific plurks on the system. To find friends, you need to either know what their screen name is, know someone they are already following, or have the link to their plurk page. My plurk page? Here!

If your friends aren't on Plurk, you can invite them to join. Plurk will check your email contact list from HotMail, Gmail, Yahoo, Live, or MSN. You enter your email id and password and they search your contacts for those already on Plurk. Once you decide which of those people to add, you are asked if you want to invite anyone else to join. You can also invite people directly from your Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or Hotmail accounts.

Invite enough people and you get stars by your name.

The only option I haven't played around with much is Plurk's clique option. Here, you can group your friends together and send them specific messages. You can also see the timeline for just clique members. Unfortunately, you can't share cliques - so each person must create their own. That's part of why I haven't played with it yet. I haven't found a real use for it.

Final judgment? Plurk is a time eater. But since it auto-updates, I keep up to date better than on Twitter, even when not on constantly. It works more reliably than Twitter. I can communicate in a more threaded manner there. In fact, I respond much more than I post. I wish it would connect with Twitter and Facebook. Even with that missing link, I will still stay and play. Come Join me!

Posted on Friday, June 6, 2008 10:55 AM SocialMedia | Back to top


Comments on this post: Plurk much?

# re: Plurk much?
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Awesome post! You're right about all that. Especially the auto-refresh feature--that's a cool benefit.

One thing I've had a hard time adjusting to on Plurk is the scrolling horizontal interface--not that there's anything wrong with it, but my CO-fried brain has troubles processing a lot of information at once. So, trying to process the plurks, the timeline, and the actual *movement* of scrolling all at the same time tends to render me a whimpering puddle of mush.

I like the threaded conversations, but there again it's hard for me to keep track; needing to scroll and pay attention to all the little numbers dazzles me. As does the conversation, often. ;-)

In summary, Twitter's one-page interface, with everyone's comments all in the same place, with a tab just for replies, and little to no requirement for scrolling, really work best for me. If it would refresh from the web page--that would be sweet. :-)

But I'm still happy to plurk by and say hi. ;-)
Left by mousewords on Jun 06, 2008 11:53 AM

# re: Plurk much?
Requesting Gravatar...
Awesomely thorough post! Very detailed and the screenshots help a ton.

Great work.
Left by Todd Jordan on Jun 06, 2008 5:45 PM

# re: Plurk much?
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Well made points and descriptions. good and bad plurkabe stuff and they have some great ideas if developed properly.

One of the best things about the plurk team is that they are smart and creative people. This can count for a lot.

The drawbacks for me are that I like to have my vertical rather than horizontal style, and is something that clears my screen for other things, But I have hope for the future.
So I'd like to ah a Plwhirl for plurk, like twhirl and another "side of the screen" maybe even a special mobile app;

I'm wiling to give then a few points extra for puttiung time tinto thinking about karma and how one earns karma. Plus they have a sense of humor which can never hurt, if i has a few hours to talk design ideas and ask questions about long term I'll bet We'd have a blast & learn something on each side,. In the meantime - rock on, plurk1
Left by Susan Reynolds on Jun 06, 2008 9:54 PM

# re: Plurk much?
Requesting Gravatar...
You forgot abt us! *sob*

For some reason I haven't been able to get into Plurk. I think it might be the layout.
And it has too much. I feel overwhelmed when I go in.

And since Twitter refuses to work, looks like my micro-blogging days are over :(
Left by dekrazee1 on Jun 09, 2008 5:50 AM

# re: Plurk much?
Requesting Gravatar...
Plurk Needs a mobile device app to get more popularity. Only because I say so of course. Ok but for real I use my mobile device to update twitter 90% of the time. hardly ever web or m. pages.
Left by mikedopp on Jun 09, 2008 9:26 AM

# re: Plurk much?
Requesting Gravatar...
I want to bring to your attention www.emote.in

Emote is a concept of sharing emotions, built over microblogging with full functionality of a social-networking site and a beautiful scrolling TIMELINE (www.emote.in/misc/images/timeline.JPG)

emote is a microblogging service; which is a platform to -
1. broadcast and share your emotions with your family, friends and with the entire world.
2. Make yourself heard, comment on news, stories and current affair.
3. Share your experiences, memories and events with your friends and family.
4. Connect with different people with similar emotional attributes as yours.
(ex: if atrocities on animals make you sad, connect with others who share the same feeling)
5. Jot-down your experiences. You usually have so many things to say - a constant stream of thoughts, comments and observations running through your head continuously.

6. A wonderful TIMELINE that arranges your messages in a chronological order date by date.
(A prominent micro-blog reviewer thinks so!)
http://emote.in/notice/2595

Sometimes, the important connections we make are the ones we make with ourselves.
Left by Gaurav on Nov 03, 2009 11:15 PM

# Mr
Requesting Gravatar...
Good Illustration
Left by casino en ligne francais on Jan 16, 2011 11:25 PM

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