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What is Plurk?

Wednesday, 4 June 2008 — by

Plurk logoSocial Networking Fatigue not withstanding, Plurk is more than a Twitter clone. Plurk is themed IM (Instant Messaging) for groups of people spread out on a time line. And if you like Twitter and Pownce, chances are, you’re going to like Plurk, too…


In their own words, Plurk is a:

“a really snazzy site that allows you to showcase the events that make up your life, and follow the events of the people that matter to you, in deliciously digestible short messages called Plurks.”

But if you ask those other early adopters out there, who’ve seen their work time devoured by Plurk, it’s a social network with a measure of charisma and style.

Plurk features — The Good, Bad, and the GUI

see how much karma you haveThe reason it is just so tempting to jump in head to feet with Plurk is because it doesn’t just offer the neurotic updaters of Twitter a chance to do their thing, but the media sharers of Pownce and the stalkers of Facebook to revel in interconnectivity and really a taste of every other fairly popular social website out there at the moment. It does not just do one thing – it does the thing: connects.

And not only does it connect in efficient and easy ways, but it does so with a snazzy user interface that makes the bubbles of Twitter look like a crayoned list.

choosing to send a Private Message on PlurkAnd the system is thorough, down to the Karma points. Perhaps thrust into the social media eye by Reddit and Mixx, the Karma system encourages participation and continued conversation.

But what about the spammers, you say? With any new network, inevitably comes spammers — but you have options! Don’t follow them!

Plurk presents options aplenty!

a Private Massages in the time lineYou can segregate Plurk friends by “Cliques”, sending only a specific group of people certain Plurks. Why Twitter never mastered that idea is absolutely beyond me. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of Cliques you can create or participate in.

see all your updates in the time lineThis isn’t to say that Plurk isn’t lacking some features: The “unread reply” system can be quite overwhelming once you get a good little fan base going. You get alerted about a random reply to a thread posted 3 hours prior that you’ve already long forgotten.

Plurk message typesAn ability to limit conversational alerts by length of time, user, or even (especially) manually by specific thread would be most satisfying to eliminate discussion not necessarily relevant to you.

There is a “mark all as read” feature (a la Google Reader), but that doesn’t give me quite enough control; especially if you have 100+ messages pending, some of which may be important to look through.

Other tweaky little feature opportunities (which could be added as high Karma bonuses) are geolocation, the ability to have multiple expanded conversations open at once in the same window, a Firefox Add-on, et cetera.

Within a few short moments, several people, including myself, started playing word games with the name.

adding a photos to a PlurkSo we were Plurking all over people, Plurkaliscious, Plurkoids, Plurkitudinal, as well as being Plurked off, fairly Plurkificatious and Plurkified with joy. You get the idea, right?

Oh, the possibilities with Plurk!

Time-Line — night and dayLike nearly all new social networks, they bring with them new concepts. One such concept that struck me was the possibility of actually being able to start a meme and watch it fan out across your friends list.

Physically watching an idea grow and propagate out across your lifestream. In fact, that’s exactly what happened earlier today.

Here are some of Plurks pros and cons so far:



As a social network, Plurk has huge potential. But that potential is potentially locked up elsewhere, on other services like Twitter and Pownce.

For now, the curious, the early adopters and the disaffected of the both Twitter and Pownce are presently populating Plurk, while everyone else ponders the prospect of becoming a Plurkoid for themself…

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Comment and be known

Partha Srinivasan → Wednesday, 4 June 2008 @ 13:11 BDT

Nicely summed up dear friend!!! Unfortunately, getting work done on that fun interface is incredibly difficult – had problems getting de-addicted!!!

ANd yes the unread responses pile up if you have a lot of following!!!

Like the station though – its NICE!!

Kat Rice → Wednesday, 4 June 2008 @ 13:29 BDT

Awesome! I will have to link to this in the future. I just wrote about Plurk yesterday on my blog, but this is fantastic. I love reading everyone’s different responses to it.

Paula Hawk → Wednesday, 4 June 2008 @ 13:38 BDT

Great summary, although I have not noticed the problem with the inaccurate replies count. But I haven’t counted them, either! ;)

Now, I must go and play with my friends in Plurkistan :D

Kristina Sontag → Wednesday, 4 June 2008 @ 16:58 BDT

Great overview! Interesting you didn’t really discuss the karma system. I think there are definite cons to using a points system to encourage user participation and activity. I think the biggest drawback is “low value” or spammy Plurks and friends requests as people try to increase their Karma scores. I still really enjoy this one and I’m eager to see how it does. Time will tell how well it holds up under the load of new users, it’s handled a pretty major influx this week with reasonable agility so I’m feeling positive. → Wednesday, 4 June 2008 @ 17:39 BDT

Interesting. I’ve been ignoring Plurk, but you made it intriguing. I may have to check it out.

Gretchen D → Wednesday, 4 June 2008 @ 22:17 BDT

I’ve just started Plurking but it’s making me think I’m too old for this stuff…

Kerstin → Thursday, 5 June 2008 @ 15:17 BDT

I like Plurk, but I think my biggest gripe about the service is that there isn’t a way to import your Plurking Twitter contacts. Other than that, I’m really enjoying the interface.

Donovan → Thursday, 21 August 2008 @ 18:49 BDT

I have just read your article about Plurk and I think that I will practice it in the future. I’m interested in it. Let me know about anything else which is connected with Plurk.

ron → Friday, 22 August 2008 @ 21:20 BDT

Cool article, but I like Twitter more Plurk. My friend and me don’t move to Plurk now.

Elian → Monday, 8 September 2008 @ 8:00 BDT

You know I have heard a lot about these short messages called Plurks. As for me for all this time I’m still using Twitter. It was very interesting for me to read everyone’s different opinion. And I think you have chosen a perfect way to follow the events of the people that matter to you.

Rigoberto → Monday, 15 September 2008 @ 11:35 BDT

Thank you very much for your article and I think that your information will be useful for my job. Before I and my friends we used to use Twitter for this functions. Now we have started to use Plurk.

laptop mobiel internet → Monday, 15 September 2008 @ 19:22 BDT

I have also started working with Plurk, and I must say that is a good piece of software (webapp), but I can use some improvements.

Quintin → Friday, 19 September 2008 @ 9:51 BDT

I like your article and I like Plurk. I’m really enjoying the interface. Let me know about something new. Thanks for this information.

Chermane → Tuesday, 13 January 2009 @ 9:27 BDT

i love plurking..
but if it doesnt let me plurk more than 30 a day..
its abit cruel xD
hope u guys gona let ppl plurk more than 30 a day..
its kinda fun for ppl who are bored here =Pp

Ady → Monday, 27 April 2009 @ 4:26 BDT

I’ve been using Plurk, Twitter, and Jaiku, and I have to say, i find Plurk to be the most interesting of the three. The reply function is much easier unlike in Twitter where I don’t know which of my updates my friends are replying to! Plus they allow for a CSS layout which allows you to change it any way you want!

Sorry Comments are close. Quite possibly for a good reason. Share your thoughts on some of my other posts or contact me directly.

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