I’ve been using the amazing Plurk microblogging service since very early June 2008, pretty much just after it was launched. A few of us SL’rs found ourselves alone there, quickly got together and began inviting everyone we could think of. Today I think I have around 450 friends+fans, with more every day. I am by no means the busiest or friendedest Plurker (e.g. CodeBastard Redgrave with 855 friends+fans as of this writing), but I’ve gotten tremendous value from my experience with the service by meeting many people I would never had the opportunity to do so otherwise and learning new things faster than I did before.
But as I pass seven months of daily Plurking, I’ve noticed some patterns developing in how people use the service. It’s like standard “phases” of understanding and participation that a great many people seem to go through. Not everyone, but most. Some people don’t even make it all the way to the end and fall off somewhere in the middle. In any case, I call it “The Plurk Cycle”:
- The Invisibles – Those who have never heard of the service.
- The Skeptics – Those who have heard of it, but immediately dismiss it out of hand. These people are usually Tweeters who are reluctant to leave their comfy nest.
- The Newbs – Those who have decided, for one reason or another, to join Plurk. They may have been invited by an existing Plurker or have overcome their fears of trying something new. They have few friends, and have little idea how to do things or what to say. Typical post: “I’m on this Plurk thing…. What am I supposed to do?”
- The Toddlers – Those who have become comfy with the concept, but don’t quite know all the ropes yet. They try many different posting styles. Typical post: “oh crap, how do I post a youtube again?”
- The Fevered – They’ve been around for a few weeks and have noticed that they don’t seem to have the same capabilities as others because their Karma is low. They develop a bad case of Karma-fever and start Plurking incessantly on every possible topic in an eventually successful campaign to raise Karma. Typical post: “I haz a martini – want one?”
- The Questioners – Those who have exhausted all the straightforward Plurks and realize more sophisticated techniques are required to gain Karma at higher levels. They often ask “why is my Karma moving so slowly now?” Their new Plurks gather a great many responses if successful. Typical Plurk (courtesy Luna Jubilee): “what's your favorite line from a movie?”
- The Plateaued – Those who have gone through most of the prior phases and have reached nirvana (literally) and retreat into a monitoring and occasional post mode. They may not post as much as the fevered others, but their plurks can be more interesting. Typical Plurk: "shares this interesting article."
- The Retired – Those who decide to leave Plurk, usually from either brain or drama overload. For some unknown reason many people seem to announce their “retirement” from Plurk rather than fading away. Typical Plurk: “I hereby resignz from Plurk forevah!”
- The Resurrected – The retirees who have returned, realizing the benefits of Plurk actually outweighed the workload and drama. They return quietly and then act much as a Plateaued.
And that’s my Plurk Cycle. If you’re a Plurker, you’ll probably recognize at least some of these phases in either yourself or your buddies. Don’t worry - it’s quite normal.
And if you are not Plurking, please give it a try. It may be worth your time.