Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Plurk: A social journal for your life

I log on to Plurk on a daily basis. In the beginning, I was hesitant to use it, as I had Twitter but I couldn't really find the relevance of it. I had trouble with Twitter as replies to my posts aren't threaded (one feature that I absolutely like, hence my love for Gmail), and it's easy for my message to get lost in the sea of other messages (especially since I'm following tons of people).

While not as popular as Twitter, Plurk enjoys a huge audience in parts of Southeast Asia, Taiwan and the United States. It was launched in May 2008. In November 2009, Plurk was in the news when MSN China, a venture of Microsoft's MSN service, launched MSN Juku and many users noted the vast similarities between the two (Plurk was blocked in China in April 2009). Plurk then posted a blog entry accusing MSN China of plagiarizing 80% of Plurk's original code, including several CSS elements and features of the service's unique interface. In December 2009, Microsoft suspended MSN Juku's services indefinitely.

I've been on Plurk for nearly two years now, and suffice to say I don't see myself leaving it anytime soon. Here are my top five reasons why I love Plurk.

1. The community. Unlike Twitter, where I follow accounts of people I barely know, accounts of stars, or various other famous people and services, I keep my Plurk contacts to people I actually know or have interacted in someway before. Even though a good half of my Plurk contacts are folks I just met online, it's still a good, small community that I can easily relate to.

2. Keeping track. Tabs like unread, responded, mine, private, and like are helping in keeping tracks of the posts I've made and people replied to, other's posts I've replied to, and posts that I liked. I also like how each Plurk has a reply option so you can easily read people's responses.

3. Access options. You have the option to pick who has access to your Plurks. Aside from making your entire timeline accessible only to your contacts, you can even pick specific people who can see what you post. You can also create lists or groups and use that.

4. Plurk hosts the images you upload. No need for an external host (one downside though, you don't really have an accessible gallery to view all the phots you've uploaded).

5. Emoticons. I don't know why but sometimes, when words fail you, there's a corresponding emoticon that can say it all for you. Not only can you use the Plurk provided emoticons, you can use your own.

On the downside, I don't think Plurk will ever be able to compete with Twitter, nor will it reach the heights Twitter has achieved. I haven't encountered much celebrity Plurkers, and if there are any, I doubt that they're active. Plurk requires a bit more work than Twitter, especially if you want to raise your karma (a point system that unlocks certain emoticons when you reach "nirvana" at 80) and maintain it. Then again, some people just ignore it and have fun.

Give Plurk a try and let know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.