I can’t stand new social media tools. Actually, that’s not true. I just don’t like it when people jump on the bandwagon of something that winds up being just another empty social network and password I can never remember when I want to finally go and close down the account.

Plurk, the logoSo just in time for everyone’s britches to get sideways and uncomfortable over Twitter’s foul-ups and failures, here comes the commando microblogging platform of the moment in Plurk.

And the lemmings ran right off the cliff.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. No one plummeted to their death over Plurk. But you certainly couldn’t walk through the knee-deep drool for a couple of days.

Honestly, I refused. I was confident then and am confident now that Twitter’s problems are mostly behind them, they’ll turn on the ability to send and not just read via IM soon and our microblogging soup de jour will be back to normal. Plurk was just the next Pownce in my mind. Still is to a certain degree.

But I owe it to the mission of this blog and its readers to explore the social media landscape, including tools I may not prefer. So here are five reasons Plurk is better than Twitter and five Twitter is better than Plurk.

Why Plurk Is Better Than Twitter

  1. Threaded Conversations
    How cool is it to have an entire comment string attached to one post? It is true microblogging with each microblog having its own comments section.
  2. Better Friend Management
    I don’t set my Twitter to auto-follow anyone who follows me. As such, I get the notification emails, which I’d rather turn off, click through to the person’s profile, click follow, click through to turn notifications on, etc. Plurk lets me just click “Add as Friend” down a list of new folks following me. It’s like God said, “Hey Plurk. Twitter royally screwed this up. Here’s an idea for ya.”
  3. Cliques
    For the record, cliques in small town high schools is precisely why, in certain circumstances, it’s perfectly fine to set someone’s hair on fire. But they’re cool in Plurk because you can pull out timelines featuring just folks in your town, at your office, in certain industries and with certain physical features for which you have fetishes.
  4. User Interface
    Gotta love Ajax. The fact you can navigate around and do what you need to do administratively without ever truly leaving the page makes the UI AOK.
  5. Improved Name Association
    Come on, be honest. How many of you have said you “Twitter” and had a co-worker, friend or parent think you just announced to the restaurant that you play with yourself? At least when you say you’ve “Plurked” everyone will look on the ground for the chunk of steak you coughed up.

Why Twitter Is Better Than Plurk

  1. Everyone Is Already There
    Who did you add to your friends when you first signed up for Plurk? Your Twitter followers. How long will it take for the irony to kick you in the groin?
  2. Avatars Mean Something
    As many faults as Twitter has, I see the avatar of the person posting or to whom I’m replying. For me — someone who admittedly has a little trouble with placing names sometimes, that’s important. The avatars on my video editing software timeline that is Plurk are too damn small.
  3. Third Party Apps
    Okay, I’ll admit this one is kinda lame since Twitter is only 460 Internet years older than Plurk, but it’s my blog, so deal with it.
  4. Color Schemes
    Baby blue and burnt sienna, or whatever the hell that brown is, don’t go together. And I’m not exactly a fashionista, I just know better. Twitter is better because you can change your background and you don’t have to have the high score on social Galaga to do so.
  5. Karma Is Stupid
    I don’t need a points system to tell me I’m worthwhile any more than I need Amanda Chapel to tell me I’m not.
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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://blogbuildingu.com Hendry Lee

    I just signed up with Plurk today.

    Can’t find your Plurk account in the sidebar, following you in Twitter.

    I’d like to test this platform, but will only be monitoring one. Although some people will choose one or another too, I think monitoring two services at a time causes too much distraction.

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Hendry – I’m “JasonFalls” on everything so a search should nail it for you. I agree that too much causes too much distraction, which is why I have an initial resistance to adoption of similar tools. I don’t think Plurk will be more than a fad at this point, but it does have some cool features Twitter could use.

  • http://www.stickyfigure.com Steve Woodruff @swoodruff

    I’ve played with Plurk and cannot shake the notion that it is basically a toy. The threaded conversations are nice but that and any other Plurkvantages really don’t make it anything stellar. Like Brightkite and other shiny toys, I find myself hoping Plurk will just kinda go away. Too many platforms to keep track of…

  • http://www.d-blogged.com d

    i’m just not into plurk. i do like the threaded conversations, but i think as twitter gets a little more categorizable/groupable/managable that issue of linear conversation following will be reduced.

    and i could not agree more on the plurk color scheme…it doesn’t take an artist to realize it’s ugly.

  • http://websuccessdiva.com Web Success Diva

    Jason, great take on Plurk. I agree completely. I’ve been on for a while, but just recently became fully engaged. Great tips!

    Maria Reyes-McDavis

  • http://istioselida.gr/ istioselida

    thank you for your article! i start recently using Plurk and the truth is that i find it more interesting than twitter, perhaps is the navigation, but i also find quite annoying that karma thing

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com KatFrench

    Another thing that bugs me about Plurk? If you try to import your friends/followers from Twitter, you’re only given “Friend” as an option, rather than “Follow,” and if someone “rejects” you as a friend (sets to have you as a follower only), you lose karma.

    I’d prefer it to be as it is on Twitter–”Follow” as the default request, and leave it to the other person whether to follow you back.

    I tried to use my limited time to replicate my Twitter network on Plurk, in the way they suggested I do it, and I felt like I got my hand slapped. Ick.

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Steve – I hear ya, bro. Thanks for chiming in.

    D – Great minds think alike apparently.

    Maria – Thank you, Madame. Appreciate you stopping by.

    Istioelida – Thanks for coming by and commenting. Karma is just dumb in my book. But I agree there are some interesting things to Plurk.

    Kat – Don’t you have work to do? (Don’t answer that.)

  • http://www.theviralgarden.com Mack Collier

    A few thoughts:

    1 – I’m not sure why everyone continues to think that they have to choose one. I use both Plurk and Twitter, and in different ways. Right now Plurk is pretty much for play, but we are all new to the space and some of us are actively pushing the possibilities of the space.

    2 – One of the most surprising things to me about Plurk was that many of the people I talk to regularly there are people I ‘met’ on Plurk, and that we have since followed each other on Twitter.

    3 – Even if you hate Plurk (and everyone does, at least till they learn to love it), you have to realize that threaded conversations is a total game-changer. And to a lesser degree, the unique layout. What Plurk has done is keep the 140-ish character backbone of the microblogging format, and flipped the layout and way users interact, on its head. This means that the next players in this space could also feature a unique layout and UI, along with a unique target market.

    4 – Karma sucks. Totally.

    5 – The A-Team has been pretty receptive to users and have implemented changes that users have requested. I’ve seen more listening and follow-through from the guys behind Plurk in 2 weeks than I have from Biz and Ev in 18 months.

    6 – Smaller is better on Plurk. If you follow smaller groups, it means you can better field conversations with them. Again, i’ve seen several plurks get 100+ replies, normally in an hour. This is all but impossible on Twitter.

    7 – Waaaaaaaay too early to make a definitive yay or nay judgment on Plurk. Wait till we have a couple more months of Plurk implementing user-suggested changes, and a few 3rd party apps for search and navigation come out. Remember that Twitter would be a shadow of what it is now without those 3rd party apps. Remember when all we had was the web ver?

  • http://www.socialmediamom.com Kristen

    Jason~I was so thrilled to see you on Plurk. I have been having so much fun there. I am going to have to agree with Mack about Plurk and Twitter. There are some fundamental differences but both can be used accordingly. I too now have friends on Twitter that I met on Plurk–it’s just that way,it is very social. Twitter is just not so much a conversation platform as it is an information platform.

  • http://somuchnoise.com ctierney

    No offense dude…but you lost me at Lemming…it’s personal preference…and if I perceive that the experience is better for *me* than I will choose that experience. Freedom Baby and Choice is what makes this country great. Just cause Im looking for excellence and improvement, a constant quest…doesn’t make me mindless, it just means I seek to be inspired.

    And don’t get me wrong…I get you didn’t exactly mean to be harsh…but seriously!

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Mack – Great points all. Especially number 7. Time will tell.

    Kristen – You are certainly easy to find on Plurk. The first time I logged in you were the last 4-5 posts in my timeline. I can see your point on Twitter as info, not convo, but I don’t think I totally agree. Sure, threaded conversations are, as Mack indicated, a game-changer, but we’ll see how it all shakes out.

    Ctierney – 1. I don’t get offended easily. 2. Was judging the tools, not the people who use them. 3. I, too, often don’t get my sense of humor.

  • http://www.theviralgarden.com Mack Collier

    To be fair, I get what Jason is saying about Shiny Toy Syndrome. But interestingly enough, most of the people I call the ‘Shiny Toy Hunters’ (Scoble, Rubel, etc) really gave Plurk a bit of a pass. So that told me that the hype was being pushed more by people that were trying it and liked it, moreso than by people that were just following the hunters.

    BTW speaking of point #5 I made above about PLurk being responsive to users….since leaving my above comment, I discovered that Plurk has changed it so that users can add links to their profiles. This is a feature that users have been requesting, and another sign that Plurk is listening to their users.

  • http://uniquefrequency.com Daryl Tay

    I wrote a couple of posts why Plurk is better, instead of just directing you to my blog I’ll recap them here.

    1) Threaded conversations
    2) Cliques
    3) Closer/more intimate conversations
    4) More organic conversations (not just post + reply like Twitter)
    5) Timeless conversations (I doubt most conversations last more than 24 hours on Twitter, but they can be live for DAYS on Plurk)

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com KatFrench

    Mack – Just offering another opinion here, but the fact that it’s being pushed by folks other than the Scoble/Rubel crowd could just mean that others saw an opportunity to capture the visibility of a new tool launch that wasn’t already being covered to death by the A-listers.

    Daryl – Your last item could simply be a function of current scale. Fewer conversations as a whole means the “window” of conversations moves a little slower. JMO.

  • http://www.konterfai.com Pierro

    My opinion is, Plurk have much fun, but for me is Plurk def. not better then Twitter. Perhaps im the only person, but i quickly lose the overview in the plurk timeline. … Twitter is just simple, but magnificent in use.

  • http://socialhoneycomb.com Amanda Gravel

    Great post! I passed this on to some friends to check out as well for a little ‘this’ vs. ‘that’ discussion.

    For me, as much as it breaks and is flawed, I’m still a Twitter bird (NOT whale, thank you).

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  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Pierro – I hear you and thanks for the comment!

    Amanda – Why is it I feel like I should have carded you when you stopped by? Thanks for the input and for passing it on. I’m apparently big among the young female crowd in Boston … not sure why, but there you have it.

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  • http://www.rwongphoto.com/fieldreport Richard

    The only reason I signed up for Twitter was because a well-connected friend of mine suggested that I do it. Then I realized that he had other social media photographers on there so that appealed to me. And now I have a few photo editors and art buyers following me too so Twitter is definitely mainstream enough to make it worth my time… today at least.

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  • http://www.fivebyfivepr.com Rachelle Matherne

    Why Twitter Is Better Than Plurk

    1. Everyone Is Already There

    Yeah. That’s why I won’t be moving to Plurk anytime soon…

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  • http://www.jauhari.net/ Jauhari

    The power of PlUrk ;)

  • Pingback: Internet Marketing Links Round Up for June 23, 2008 | Maria Reyes-McDavis

  • homecontrol

    Bookmarked and sharing for friends.

  • http://www.control4.com/solutions/home-theater/ temperaturecontrol

    Very cool! I noticed, however, that there doesn't appear to be any max character limits set on the appropriate editor fields.

  • http://www.greeneggsandmoms.com Anne Mercado

    I know I’m several years late to comment on this but I just had to. This really cracked me up! I love the way your wrote everything and while I was going through it, I was like… Yeah!! That’s right.
    I still prefer Twitter more though, the interface seems easier to navigate through.

  • Jessica Quest

    Guys should check out http://www.Formvote.com , it’s this new social network – pretty awesome :) It’s not like Twitter though. It’s more for questions.

  • Hamadawe

    i hate twitter
    it is a bullshit

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