Plurk: the Pseudonym-based Social Network

Wed 3 April 2013 10:00, Vitto Christaldi

Have you heard about the social network site, Plurk? According to its creator, Plurk is “a really snazzy site that allows you to showcase the events that make up your life in deliciously digestible chunks.” Say what? In simpler words, Plurk is a micro-blogging site; like Twitter. Some even call it the clone of Twitter from Asia. Is that so?

Plurk: the Pseudonym-based Social Network

Plurk was created by the so called “The A-Team” (no idea who they are, but for sure they are not Hannibal, Face, B.A, and Murdock), with Alvin Woon as the CEO. The social network was launched in May 2008 and currently there are three million ‘plurks’ posted each day, mostly from Asia. And because it is so popular in Asia, the company decided to move its headquarters from Toronto, Canada, to Taipei, Taiwan.

So I created an account on this social network to see how Plurk works. First impression: “What is going on here?” The timeline is visualized with a time slot which you can drag to left and right, as you can see on the screenshot below. And also, unlike Twitter, users are allowed to create update (plurks) up to 210 characters long. But the weirdest thing is: my timeline is already filled with plurks from a Filipino user called Taleleng.Ö. I have no idea why she was chosen by Plurk as my "welcome present", probably because I went to her profile earlier to check how a Plurk profile normally looks like (which I found in the top list of the top Plurk on the front page).

Plurk%20timeline

(click on the picture to enlarge)

The next thing I noticed is a special box in my profile called “Karma”. Eh, what is Karma? The creators describe it as the value of your account; some kind of metric to measure users’ activity. Higher Karma reflects you as a better plurker and also entitles you to more emoticons. Karma is recalculated every day and can be within these intervals:

  • 0.00 to 21.00: You are in the state of creation
  • 21.00 to 41.00: You are in the state of maintenance
  • 41.00 to 61.00: You are enlightened
  • 61.00 to 81.00: You are so close to Plurk Nirvana
  • 81.00 to 99.99: You have reached Plurk Nirvana!
  • Karma 100+
Karma

Plurk recently received funding from Chinese venture capital, Wi Harper. The funding will focus on product innovation, global expansion into key cities and countries, as well as hiring supporting needs. The funding will also partly go towards the launch of ‘Anonymous Plurking’, which allows users to post anonymous content to their friends’ timeline.

Plurk is not really my cup of tea, the layout and features are not very attractive in my opinion (although I must say, compared to the layout of Twitter, Plurk looks more visual and less boring). Also I’m not sure if the social network can be used to promote your business and to go viral. But it has potential, especially in South East Asia. We’ll see. Will you give it a try then?


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