Wednesday, June 4, 2008

*EXPOSE* what's all this fuss about Plurk anyhow?

by now, some of the more active new media movers in Singapore have tried out the latest web application, Plurk.

what exactly is Plurk? well, if you aren't even using Twitter, this post might not make much sense to you.

Twitterers jumped onto Plurk when Twitter kept having outages that really made following conversations a hassle. While Twitter and me have not parted ways, i am sort of having a friend with benefits, if that is my relationship with Plurk.

So let me share step by step, what's working out for me and Plurk, before i add a wishlist of what would perhaps, make it even more plurking awesome.

1. Plurk iz pretty

the timeline user-interface (UI) takes a bit of getting used to. but once you do, following conversations and taking part in them is insanely easy.

2. Plurk makes it easy to participate in conversations of interest
see a post that you like? click on the drop down option, and plurk a response instantaneously! it reminds me of the way people post replies to threads on forums. in fact, it's like "threaded conversations" if i may quote @uniquefrequency or @yuhui. i cannot remember. in one of my more popular plurks i got 43 responses, although more than half came from @uniquefrequency and myself, it proved the ease in starting a conversation on any topic, and anyone can join in.

here's an example of that Plurk's permalink. the fantastic thing, is that you can now join in that conversation by just registering yourself and continuing that conversation!

3. RSS Feeds
this was rather overlooked. or didn't appear in any of my current conversations. but i've started subscribing to various Plurkers on my GReader, if i see anything that interests me, i can click on that link in my RSS Reader that takes me straight to a Plurk's Permalink, and i can take part in the conversation without needing to go thru the hassle of checking my timelines.

it's a bit of a hassle, but this will help manage updates if and when Plurk becomes too busy for its own good.

you can also try subscribing to Plurk responses, but i think that's overkill.

[Note: you can only subscribe to public plurks, plurkers that are private will not produce a feed. My feed is in this link if you wanna follow me: link]

1. SMS integration like Twitter. but that might not be necessary if WIFI becomes ubiquitous for mobile internet devices, or if you have a good 3G data plan. i hear good things about their mobile site.

2. convulated timeline will have to be addressed sooner or later.

3. easier UI to keep track of conversations that are happening. as someone suggested, plurks with responses should perhaps be aggregated to a sidebar for you to comment on. by doing so, this might render the RSS+GReader method unnecessary and require a shorter learning curve to using Plurk.

4. more 3rd party apps or blog widgets to make Plurk more integrated to a lifestream.

closing thoughts
Plurk and Twitter are different animals. Plurk has made it great to start and follow up on conversations. but it doesn't have the ubiquity of Twitter that truly excels on an SMS platform. you probably won't see someone using Plurk to plurk a cry for help when he/she gets arrested in Egypt. SO don't throw away Twitter yet! Twitter might be quiet for awhile as more of us play with Plurk, but i think Twitter will be back with a vengence WHEN it sorts out its backend engineering.

if you'd like to see it for yourself, take part in the conversation and join my Plurk network here: link!


daphne maia said...

excellent post!

now if only u'd make ur blog more conversation friendly by using a better comment form. *hmmmm.*

Kevin On said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin On said...

thanks for the review bry. was looking at it last night and ended up not registering, YET. will give it an observation period and see where this is going. one less thing to manage for now... =P

brian koh said...

@daphne maia: oooh, pray tell? what's wrong with this comment format? i used to be on haloscan, but opted for something blogger created so it was easily integrated into the blog without needing too much code. but your feedback would be valuable!

@kevin on: Aye! no problem.. you gotta try it out to see if its of any use to you -) but yeah, ping me if you ever need some help -)

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