It’s been about a month now since I introduced Plurk here at gHacks and now that I have had a chance to properly test it, here is an update on the developments over the last few weeks.
The first thing I began to realize was that although Plurk has a great way of managing threaded conversations it’s also very easy to be overrun by noise. I’m guessing the idea was for 'the ‘fans’ feature to be used more, but as it is everyone simply adds people as ‘friends’.
A couple of weeks ago however Plurk rolled out one new feature to cut back on the noise… the mute function which you can use on any Plurk conversation. It’s handy, but there is another way to cut down the noise, but going into your “Show all Friends” options you can turn off individual people’s timelines.
Karma, a good idea at first, has been a large cause of this issue as Plurking a lot rewards people with higher Karma levels. Unfortunately this also resulted in a lot of spammy responses. Plurk rolled out a new algorithm a week ago which supposedly addressed this issue but we will have to wait and see.
In the best blogging tradition a few people jumped on the opportunity and have created Plurk websites. Eric Oddom has a blog called Plurkable which is “dedicated to all things Plurk”. Updates on just about every minute Plurk event, including such riveting posts as this one from yesterday. Plurktionary is the unofficial Plurk dictionary and help guide. Plurkiverse is yet another blog on the subject, but if you are going to follow any Plurk dedicated blog I think this one covers the topic best.
Depending on adoption of course, I think we’ll start seeing a whole swag of Twitter-like services beginning to spring up around Plurk. Plurkerati is one of the first and tracks the top Plurkers based on their Karma and other stats.
What’s holding Plurk back at this point is the lack of an API, something which has been both the cause of Twitter’s success and also resulted in it’s greatest problems.
An unofficial Plurk API has been released very recently and is hosted on Google Code. It apparently has the approval of the Plurk team but not the support, it should be interesting to see what developers do with this.
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