I spent a little time getting familiar with Plurk the other night. I have to admit, it is amazingly addicting. Its a lot like Twitter, but much more social. In my opinion, Plurk can be described as the younger, gabby, outgoing sibling of Twitter.
How Plurk Works
In my book, what makes a good Web 2.0 application is one that has figured out how to manage tons of information in an easy to use interface. In this regard, Plurk has done an amazing job. Plurk’s “About” page defines Plurk as:
A really snazzy site that allows you to showcase the events that make up your life in deliciously digestible chunks. Low in fat, 5 calories per serving, yet chock full of goodness.
In the simplest form, it is a lot like Twitter in that you’ve got 140 characters in which to Microblog something. Unlike Twitter, you can choose up to 16 different verbs. Where Twitter always answers the question “What are you doing?”, Plurk allows you to change the question to “JeffBuzz [says, is, loves, wants, hates, has,…etc.]“. Plurk also allows you to post smiley faces or even images from Flickr (very scaled down, of course).
Instead of your Plurks (as opposed to your Tweets) coming in vertically, as they do on Twitter, they come in horizontally along a scrollable timeline. This takes a little getting used to at first. For some reason, the timeline reads right to left which, to me, seems unnatural. I guess my Westernized mind is more comfortable reading it left to right. Its very cool how you can just click and pull the timeline to the left to view Plurks back in time.
Except for a few minor nuances, Plurk sounds pretty much the same as Twitter so far, right? Here is where Plurk gets real crazy…on each individual Plurk you can leave a response and form a discussion. See what I mean about managing tons of data? Not only are you seeing all of your friends’ Plurks, but you can also see the discussion on each one! The result is an application that is a lot like Twitter but much more social. Check out the screenshot below.
There really isn’t much to dislike about Plurk. My biggest complaint is that it is another time-suck that will distract me from focusing on what I should be doing! The payoff could be worth it though. Because of the social nature of the service, I find it much easier to meet people and establish friendships than Twitter. Because its so easy to exchange messages with people, the friendships actually mean something, unlike many other social media apps where you have no clue who you are adding as a “friend”.
Within 5 minutes of using Plurk, I had my first friend. When I saw who it was, I must say…I immediately became hooked.
I still like Twitter for its simplicity. But when I have time to kill, there’s a good bet you can find me on Plurk.
You can follow me on both Twitter and Plurk:
Tweets by jeffbuzz
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