Plurk – Ooooooh Another Shiny New Twitter-Like Thing!

Twitter (when it’s up) has been lighting up today with talk of yet another shiny new toy for people to play with – Plurk.

Plurk?

Yes, you read it right – Plurk.

Plurk describes itself as:

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.

My first impression – Plurk is a bit like Twitter with a little FriendFeed thrown in for good measure.

Messages have the same 140-character maximum as Twitter’s but on Plurk, unlike on Twitter, you can reply directly to other peoples’ messages (I refuse to call them “plurks”). You can also add extra bells and whistles to your messages like smileys, and there’s a Facebook-style “Dave is…” intro to posts which you can modify to things like “Dave loves…,” “Dave shares…” and “Dave likes…” and so on.

The big difference, though, is the “timeline.”

Your timeline is your home screen and where you’ll spend 99% of your time on Plurk. It allows you to easily view and scroll from left to right using your mouse or keyboard as plurks are created by you and your friends throughout the day. It gives you a clear view into what everybody is up to recently and lets you stay caught up on what your friends are doing.

Essentially, the timeline lets you visualize who’s posted what, and when. It’s a neat solution to the problem of messages quickly scrolling off the bottom of peoples’ screens, which I frequently get with my Twitter account.

So why the buzz?

Evidently, a couple of “A-list” people (Plurk’s words, not mine) discovered the service this weekend and wrote about it, bringing with them a bunch of new users… and so the viral marketing goes.

My first Plurk post

Of course, this is good because, y’know, we can’t just move to any of the existing Twitter competitors like Pownce or Jaiku when Twitter’s down, right? We obviously need another tool to fill the gap left by… oh wait… there isn’t a gap.

I don’t get it. Twitter is popular because of its simplicity and its user base. Plurk has neither, and I just don’t need another social network diluting my time further. This feels a lot like the hype around Pownce when it launched. Now… *crickets*

 My initial thoughts on Plurk

I feel bad because Plurk is based near Toronto (Mississauga, in fact) so the quasi-Canadian in me wants it to succeed. What’s more, the site gives me a warm, welcoming feeling that Twitter just doesn’t have. It’s fun to use, it’s well thought-out and it could be neat.

Perhaps, if Twitter’s outages continue, Plurk could steal away some of its users. Lord knows our patience has been pushed to the limit recently. Alternatively, it could carve out another niche (Venture Beat suggests it’s targeting high school teenage girls) and co-exist with the elephant in the room.

Unfortunately, though, I just don’t see the need for another tool like this. I’ve been wrong before, though.

What do you think? Twitter-killer, cool new addition or waste of attention?

  • I have played with Plurk a little bit, but it left me cold. I find the “timeline” to be unwieldy, and the overall design to be unattractive. Also, it has been down more than Twitter the last few days! Overall assessment, something I don’t need in my life.

  • I had a look at Plurk over the weekend and it just didn’t do it for me. I’ve been asking my twitter pals what all the fuss is about (particularly the ones who have made the Plurk leap) and no one has been able to tell me. Like you, I’d love to support a home grown company but I’d need to find a more compelling reason before I take the Plurk plunge and test it out.

    Last year I signed up for Jaiku and Pownce but Twitter is still my social network of choice, even with all the bumps and bruises along the way. I’m not sure why us otherwise critical social media types have put up with it for so long but we do.

    Like you, I may be wrong and a week from now I’ll be eating my words but for now, I’d rather tweet than Plurk. Thanks for the post. You’ve helped confirm my initial instincts.

  • I find Plurk’s timeline to be unwieldly. Twitter has a timeline too, with a display that’s easier to navigate. (not that Plurk is difficult)

    It’s no Twitter killer, that’s for sure. Though the fact that it’s Canadian gives extra points for sure!

  • Did you really just write a blog post comparing one microblogging platform to another microblogging platform? 😛

    Good grief, talk about shiny object syndrome, Dave!

  • It’s certainly pretty and flashy. I do agree Plurk might be designed for girls/women or those who crave dolled up user interface. Personally I’m more inclined towards simplicity, speed, and efficiency.

    I also think if (when?) Plurk can handle the Scobleizer-like load, then it may have a chance to be next Twitter replacement.

  • It’s one of those services you WANT to like but just can’t. The friend import option still doesn’t work… the timeline is confusing and needless… oh well. I’m trying to migrate to Jaiku – IF Google will lend support.

  • I want to bring to your attention http://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 ( http://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.