Plurk This, Twitter!

It's been a year or longer since I stated I was dumping Twitter for Plurk (I joined in 2008), but to be honest, I was back on Twitter within the day. My network was bigger on Twitter and I had more folks reading there than Plurk. However, since Kevin Honeycutt's preso at TEC-SIG, I've taken the time to login to Plurk more often and see what might happen. Although every blog entry I write goes through and gets shared on Plurk, Twitter, and Buzz simultaneously, I've found myself coming back to Plurk.

Maybe it's this Pew survey that has me taking a long look at Plurk again, maybe not:

A survey by Pew and Elon found that 85 percent of 895 "technology stakeholders" and pundits agreed that the Internet has mostly been a positive force in peoples' social lives. Social benefits of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Apps will outweigh the negatives over the next decade because e-mail, social networks, and other Web services offer low friction ways to forge and rediscover social ties that make a difference in people's lives.

Here's why I'm having fun with Plurk now:

1. On Plurk, I get the benefit of an aggregated conversation. Instead of looking at a timeline of tweets that I have to make sense of, it's easier to "peek" in and see what people are chatting about. That means, if I see something someone is writing about, its 100% for sure that follow up comments will be directly relevant.

2. The desktop interfaces for Plurk have improved...sort of. When working on Plurk, I couldn't imagine trying to use it much with it's sideways scrolling monstrosity of a site. Fortunately, their mobile page is much easier to work with and APIs--ways that other software can interface with Plurk--have made it easier to work with. Now, you can find a variety of clients that will interface with Plurk well, such as:

Bitter for Windows computers.
Plurker (in beta) - a very nice Plurk client (shown to the right, above) that needs Adobe Air to work. Best of the desktop plurk tools so far but still missing...something.

Fluid App is still around and works fine on Mac. This is now my primary interface. During setup, you can have it point to the Mobile Plurk interface ( if you prefer that (I do), or just do the regular address. Compare FluidApp to Prism on Windows. Both setup up a web site on your browser as a clickable button and are focused on that. (image here)

Mobile Phone Apps are better. PlurQ and/or Pluroid work great for Android phones. iPhone users (e.g. Plurkapp for IphoneiPlurk) will have to tell me what works for them!

And, though it's not much of a feature, Plurk has this underdog feel to it. It simply lacks all the neat stuff available for Twitter but maybe, that's not what it's about.

Plurk Designs

That said, you can also enhance the design of your Plurk look...unfortunately, many of these images for the Plurk designs are hosted on Photobucket. To get around the error messages (bandwidth exceeded), you can do what I did earlier today...upload the images for your favorite Plurk design to somewhere else (e.g. PicasaWeb) and then relink the images.

edit your CSS, and look for any photobucket images. Download those and then put them online at a web host of your choice, relink

Some online sites where you can find plurk designs/layouts; beware that some may cost money, and mix the free ones be careful:

After installing my design of choice, I downloaded all the images that it linked to on Photobucket and put them up on

How To Make Friends

While interacting with others is the key to any social media tool, sometimes you want to just get in the same conversation. The easiest way to accomplish that is to find someone you trust (who is on Plurk already) and then scoop up all THEIR friends.

Of course, another approach is to ask people to welcome you, etc.

So far, these are the things I've run into while getting back into Plurk.