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June 30, 2008

Plurk Is Slowly Winning Me Over - How About You?

By Li Evans

At the end of the week last week, I asked the question to my Plurk audience, "Do you consider yourself a plurk convert? If you do, I'd love to hear why?" which then led to "What would you like to see plurk add to make it better??"  I am finding Plurk, more and more attractive to hold conversations and communicate despite the way I feel about the interface.

Harpooned Twitter Fail WhaleTwitter, has issues.  Major issues.  The more that it is broken, features are disabled and doesn't update or respond to its audience, the more it's driving people to Plurk, not Friendfeed, but Plurk. (Sorry A-Listers, ya missed the boat on this one!)

Plurk's A-Team is learning from Twitter's very public mis-steps and issues.  The team at Plurk is fast to respond, and fast to implement new ideas (that are feasible) suggested by its users.  It keeps its audience up to date with what's going on.  Granted, the user base is not that of Twitter, and growing pains are likely going to ensue once the exodus from those tired of seeing that dumb whale (or now the bird & dragonfly), hits Plurk.

Plurk is not Twitter, not by any stretch of the imagination.  Twitter is a broadcasting mechanism and an easy way to disseminate a message to a captive audience that wants to hear what you have to say.  You can hold conversations between yourself and someone else, but when you compare it to Plurk, you can see the big difference.

Plurk, takes time, a lot of time.  With Plurk, regardless of Karma or not, you have to be actively engage in conversation to get the benefit from it.  With Twitter, it doesn't involve as much time as Plurk does.  For businesses, utilizing Plurk would have to be a huge investment in an employee's time and unless they make the serious effort to do that, it's unlikely they will find the benefit in this medium.

So what are others saying? Are they converts, or just voyeurs?  Refugees from a broken Twitter?  Well take a look for yourself.

  • tamar:    i'm not sure if i consider myself a convert because i use it differently than twitter. however, i do find it engaging, albeit a waste if time.
  • twistermc:     has pretty much given up on Twitter
  • dazzlindonna: says absolutely. the number one reason i love plurk is that i can follow a threaded conversation. #2 reason: it brings out the playful side of me
  • kerstinbakerash: I'm a convert out of necessity.  Sort of like converting because you're marrying someone.  Sorta.
  • tannerhobin: is a Plurk convert. Threaded conversations, sweet avatars and I have yet to see a fail whale around here.
  • lilyhill: agrees with tannerhobin!
  • jayseae: says Li, I wrote a post on my blog a while back about it (and giving up on Twitter).  So I guess that definitely makes me a convert.
  • wilreynoldssays I am struggling with moving to plurk, updating my stuff in two places sucks - but liking it much more, better way to waste time
  • nextsteph: says I just started plurk a few days ago and I'm  hooked.
  • ruudhein: I feel like I miss more convo here. On Twitter I see replies, here I've to hunt for them.
  • Myrnaslistsays agree with dazzlindonna tannerhobin plus warmer, friendlier. lighter and easier to keep up with replies here.  I made the statement that twitter is more stacatto and plurk flows
  • TheBadMonkey: says I'm loving it now: threaded convos rock, like the timeline. Hoping that the July recruits don't summon the A-Team too often
  • MackCollier: shares haven't left Twitter for Plurk, because like Tamar said I use both differently. But it's much easier to talk with and connect with ppl here
  • Samir: says I moved over from Twitter because of the level of interaction. So I guess we can say I'm a Plurk converter
  • randomnicole: is probably a convert. twitter has too much downtime and is too anti-conversation
  • status_girl: shares with twitter being down so much, I **do** find myself checking plurk first before anything else. Does this make me a convert? Dunno.
  • Leigh J: thinks that there are no plurk converts.  There was no life before plurk.  Plurk is all.  OBEY AND PLURK!

Plurk definitely listens to feed back that's given.  It seems like a few times a week something is added to Plurk that improves it. Timestamps on replies and a search function have been added at the request of users.  True social media collaboration at work.  Here are some things that the audience  thinks Plurk could do or add to make it truly "Rock" as a communication tool:

  • kerstinbakerash: @ replies. And easier import of Twitter converts.
  • dazzlindonna: says connection to my cell phone like twitter does   
  • BarbaraKB: gives no sharing of e-mail address to new friends in e-mail request. HUGE FAIL!
  • JBligh: says Less emphasis on Karma.
  • liamvictor: says remove all those bloody emoticons. Find / track previous replies. Star favourites
  • JBligh: says Find Track previous replies would be HUGE!!
  • ruudhein: #1 is tracked or flagged replies. I don't wan't to be rude; it's too easy to miss a response here
  • SearchBuzz: says easier tracking of threads you are involved in.
  • jeanannvk: says I completely agree, track replies and eliminate Karma...who needs the pressure?
  • Ζωаяτ:wants Plurk to get rid of the bugs and of the debris of old bugs: wrong numbers, lingering (old) alerts, inability to unplurk someone... etc., and oh yeah: stale accounts should be taken from the offending non-plurkers in question and given to the rightful owner of the name grrr
  • Samir: says a true sms, plurk IM, and picture messages to Plurk similar to BrightKite - I wrote a post on Tamar's blog about what would make it perfect
  • milwaukeeseosays Would like an application, similar to twhirl or twitterfox to read and respond.  Would be easier to keep track of convos
  • mwilton13: says I'd like to be notified or at least be able to see what cliques I may be in outside of my own.

So am I a Plurk convert?  I'm close.  Plurk's stability and constant updates to its platform of new features and its reaction to its audience is very appealing - Twitter's really loosing ground in that department. But, I still see the value in Twitter and that businesses can adapt to using Twitter a lot more easily than Plurk.  However, if you want to get into truly engaging conversations, build relationships and find out what people are really thinking, Plurk is the better way to go.  Even if it does still remind me of Dylan's Candy Store!

Image by Sonny Gill.

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Comments

Plurk is a nice site..it is fun and has lots of useful features but I have to admit that Twitter is still closer to my heart..its simplicity and sometimes its inefficiency..^^ still works fine for me..^^

Isn't it great how you can compile a blog post out of people's threaded conversations? :)

I'm definitely enjoying Plurk myself as well. I hope you saw my post today expressing similar sentiment :) http://www.techipedia.com/2008/twitter-vs-plurk/

My only gripe is that Plurk is adding features, but I'm not sure if they're adding the right ones. I can't figure out who to contact about that either!

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