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July 20, 2008


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Wayne Hurlbert

While Twitter is the IM writ large, Plurk hits the segment of micro-forum with the threaded conversations. I'm not sure one system is better than the other, but they have different uses, and ideal users, at different times.

For many people, the hodge podge of the chat room is exhilarating, and Twitter fills that role very well, despite too many cameo appearances from the fail whale. On the other hand, other people will prefer the more threaded approach of the forum and message board found on Plurk. Keep in mind that as Plurk adds more users, their version of the fail whale may start to appear as their system limits get tested.

I see value to both systems, and each has unique values that work for different market segments. Innovation is a very good thing, and new social media are always welcome if they serve a market segment that is under represented.

Lewis Green

Good Post, Paul. It will be helpful to those entering social networking.


I find Twitter (sans Fail Whale) to be more "instant" and good for surface-scanning. Plurk takes more time, but is good for the conversation threads; that part is excellent.

The items that annoys me is the "karma" and Cliques as well. Agree with you there! I spend enough time on these mediums I don't need to be fiddling with my karma online as well...

If I want to get something across Twitter, Plurk, identi.ca etc., then I use Ping.fm a handy instant broadcast tool. Good topic!


I have both twitter, plurk, and multiple other profiles on social networks and micro-blogs. In my opinion it comes down to a couple of things: What is convenient, where your friends are, where the people you trust/like/associate with/ or other business professional enjoy the most, how you can get your message across the best and just which you are loyal to. Frankly for me it comes down to this: I like twitter, my friends are on both (but we all PREFER twitter), everything you complain about twitter for is being fixed/updated/or has fan apis that make Twitter far superior to Plurk. Now if we look at this from a completely different standpoint both are a minority compared to some international micro-blogs with a much larger user-base. Twitter is occasionally slow yes, but that should be done in a few months. As for Plurk being easier to follow--that again is a matter of opinion and not fact. I applaud Plurk for some originality and for appealing to teens with their kharma game aspect, or adults who like to be told they are popular, and while it is fun to see what else they will give you for higher levels I don't think it is a determining factor on functionality and why to choose that over another service.

Not to break down this post, it had a few good points on why you enjoy their services. Just playing devil's advocate and placing the other side of the story out there. If anyone does want more information on all of the possible services and fan apis for twitter I have written multiple posts on my blog, otherwise twitter has their own blog that overlays the newest services.

Paul Chaney

Desarae, no doubt Twitter's API gives it advantages at this point. However, Plurk will have their own API soon too which I suspect will vault its popularity.

A few months is a long time to be patient.

Ultimately, I like them both. Just trying to explain that I think Plurk's popularity is a direct result of Twitter's instability and inefficient way in which it facilitates conversations.

Twitter is designed to serve one purpose and Plurk another.

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