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The Main Difference Between Twitter and Plurk (to me)

Posted By Darren Rowse 14th of June 2008 Social Media 0 Comments

Over the last week I’ve been experimenting with a social messaging/micro blogging service called Plurk. Over the last week I’ve seen many comparisons between it and Twitter – but wanted to show one of the main differences that I’ve observed:

To illustrate let me show you a ‘tweet’ and a ‘plurk’ message that I posted an hour ago:

I shot this question out to my ‘followers/friends’ on both services – “What is the #1 reason that you blog?”

The response was instantaneous on both services. I got great replies on both. There were many more Twitter answers than Plurk ones – but that is because I have around 10 times as many ‘friends’ on Twitter as I do on Plurk.

However there is one main difference….

The responses that emerged on Twitter were a whole lot of individuals responding to me in isolation. Your followers on Twitter don’t know what other people have answered.

On Twitter I saw this page a few minutes after I asked the question:

Picture 2.png

There’s some great responses there – (and there were another 60 or so) but the problem is I was the only person who saw them ALL.

On Plurk the responses are all grouped together – not only for you to see but for your followers to see also.

Here’s the beginning of the responses on Plurk a few minutes after I plurked:

Picture 6.png

If you scrolled down further you see that I added a followup question – something that people responded to in the thread:

Picture 7.png

You can actually view the full Plurk conversation on this page.

This style of conversation means that everyone benefits from the whole conversation – not just me. It means that it’s not unusual for conversations to emerge between your friends as well as between you and your individual friends.

The other thing that I like about Plurk is that conversations are contained and don’t get as mixed up as they do on Twitter.

10 minutes after asking the question on Twitter my ‘replies’ page contained all kinds of messages. Some were still responding to the first question I asked, some to the followup, others were responding to earlier tweets, some had moved on to new topics with me….

Which is Best?

This is the question I’m being asked more and more. Is Plurk ‘better’ than Twitter? My answer is generally that I think both are great. You see there are times where the more communal, multidirectional conversation that Plurk offers is brilliant – but there are other times where you don’t necessarily need it and where the more one on one conversation is more effective.

I also get the feeling that while there is a definite overlap between Twitter and Plurk in terms of who is using them – that there’s a different kind of person using each one. Plurk seems to have emerged out of a younger crowd than Twitter – perhaps this is more useful in some circumstances also.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Has anyone tried beenup2.com? It’s essentially micro blogging with your camera phone. You can stay in touch with friends and share your trips too.

  2. team ray says: 06/15/2008 at 4:30 am

    both are glorified IM messagers

    i dont get hype for either

  3. Switched from Twitter to Plurk and didn’t regret it. IM problems and downtimes of Twitter became more than just annoying. I get it when Plurk has minor problems – it is new. But Twitter is an old service that was already running fine for a long time – how bad should it be if they can’t fix it for several weeks already?

    I disagree with people saying that Plurk is a toy – no way it is. Plurk is more like a personal mini-forum where you and people that you allow to can create topics and kick off discussions. Plurk can be Twitter (check out its mobile version), but Twitter can’t be Plurk.

  4. I signed up essentially to secure my username as see what all “the buzz” was about. But for me, plurk’s appeal is limited as long as my only option for interacting with it is via a web browser. Like @Heath, I don’t do much twittering from my computer and am unlikely to plurk much from it either.

  5. Thank you for the comparison. Maybe I AM an old fuddy duddy and can’t hang with the Plurk crowd. Can I cry motherhood has made my brain slow?

  6. Plurk reminds me of comments in a blog and Twitter seems more like an IM variant.

    Personally, I’m starting to like Plurk better, though I don’t have nearly as many “friends” as I do on Twitter. Hopefully that’ll change as it grows.

  7. When I told a blogging buddy to get on Twitter his first question was – “How many hits do you get from it each day?”

    I told him – who cares about the hits, look at what it’s doing for my blog. My Twitter widget adds value to my blog because my readers can see what I’m up to and ultimately feel more connected to my personality. My tweets are also showing up in the search engines and linking back to my blog.

    With that said, I also LOVE Plurk and think it’s actually easier to use and more entertaining than Twitter.

    I’m new to Plurk though and would love some friends – here’s my profile:


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