Plurk, the recently launched microblogging service, with the uncommon timeline interface, and the features considered by many as childish (: funny emoticons, karma, and karma related ‘creatures’) is not exactly the favorite of A-list bloggers. Despite the considerable amount of people that joined it, plurk remains in the shadow of the more ‘serious’ twitter and friendfeed. As if it had to be considered an alternative to them! Whatever utility one can get from such services is up to the community that will form around it.
Having said this, I must recognise that the ease of making threaded discussions, the notifications for new updates, which, unlike twitter, is inherent in plurk, and the toys (:emoticons, etc) available, predispose people to behave differently. So most, actually, use it for chatting. And this is not bad at all, provided one knows what to expect.
It would take just a couple of changes though, to make it a serious twitter competitor: strip all the funny stuff and replace the timeline interface with the one used in the mobile version. Ok, maybe SMS too, although I do not consider it a serious possibility for plurk. Since one thread ca easily reach 100 responses, it would be almost a martyrdom to get so many updates through SMS.
Plurk has not published any API so far, but there is an unofficial one. The lack of an API and the inclusion of auto refresh in the web application, has not motivated developers to create add-ons, twitter style. Adobe Air apps, search engines, statistics, special feeds or hash tags etc. are simply not there.
Not entirely though. Hellotxt and ping.fm offer posting possibilities and one can easily get the plurk feed in friendfeed in the form of a blog feed. There is also twistermc for firefox and maybe some more.
Since there is very little information on the site (although, in a previous visit, I am almost sure that I saw that a 24 year old was the site creator) I can only assume that it is using the unofficial API to get the stats out.
Plurkmania allows ordering plurk users by:
- Friends & Fans
- Plurks & Responses
- # Recruited
There are also some extra stats for
- Creature (!)
but with numbers that do add up to the plurk population, not even close. This discrepancy may be attibuted to users not filling information as far Gender and Relationship are concerned but cannot be explained for Creature and Theme which should be applicable to all.
Of course, one, by entering his plurk name, can get personal statistics too .
(At the time of writing, I discovered through this that I am the top plurk recruiter for Greece -although the number is really small- and that I rank 25th for the whole world).
In a sense, like plurk, plurkmania is amusing. Check the rank by fans, for instance. Leo Laporte is nr 1, but his karma is a mediocre 31.64. Likewise for Scoble (#2 and 24.74 respectively). Darren Rowse does pretty well on both though (#10, 74.47).
This is explainable. A-list bloggers can easily attract followers in any new service, but apparently they don’t care for posting in plurk.
Plurkmania can be a success. Whenever and wherever there is a possibility for people to rank high, they come and look. Same for plurk rankings, provided that plurk will be around for long.
Update: Ok, I found the creator. And he gives some important info too. In two days, we should be expecting the official launch.
Update 2: Plurkmania is on Mashable. If it was this post that helped plurkmania to make it to mashable, then I am certainly glad!