July 25, 2008

Plurk – The Conversational Microblogging Site


Microblogging (blogging in 140 characters or less) can be frustrating, because there’s no easy way to manage the huge influx of posts. At least, there wasn’t until Plurk. Plurk has gone to great lengths to overhaul the user interface in order to transform short status updates into an ongoing conversation.

Plurk presents your updates in a horizontal (left to right) timeline, with separate tabs for the community’s plurks, your own plurks, and private plurks. This can be dizzying at first but becomes quite addictive. Plurks are preceded by brightly colored qualifiers (verbs such as loves, hates, wishes, has and so on) which give some context to your updates (and don’t count in your character count). When people respond to a plurk the responses are stored in a drop down box below the original update, making it easy to carry on and follow conversations. This is a major advantage and differentiates Plurk among competing microblogging sites.

Plurk is a great place for people to share what’s happening in their lives from the mundane details all the way up to important events. Additionally, Plurk can serve as a powerful promotional platform for individuals and businesses.

Practical Uses

  • Share photos and videos of your life and get instant feedback from your friends and fans as Plurk automatically includes thumbnails
  • Conduct a poll to find the best solutions for saving gas and publish the results on your blog
  • Discuss the latest movies and books with friends around the world
  • Ask for help with a technical issue on your new iPhone

Insider Tips

  • Everything you do on Plurk (such as adding friends, plurking regularly and filling out your profile properly) is rewarded with karma points that can be used to enhance your profile
  • Avoid creating more than 30 plurks a day – the founders want to keep conversation going and you will get a greater reward for contributing to others’ plurks
  • Customize your profile to match your website or blog

What we liked

  • Even if you are new to microblogging, you can get started in seconds
  • You can import your friends from your email, instant messaging accounts, and even Twitter
  • The verb qualifiers make it easier to frame your updates and they don’t count towards your 140 character limit

What we didn’t like

  • Plurk is in beta and can be buggy on occasion
  • The timeline interface can be overwhelming at first
  • It can be annoying to see your Plurk Karma drop when you aren’t active on the site for a period of time


Company Info

  • Launched: January 2008
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Mississauga, Canada
  • Founded by Amir Salihefendic, Armin Ronacher
  • Website:


  • Free


  • 5 out of 5 (wow)

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