If Twitter was all about “what are you doing?”, Plurk is more about “what are you doing, loving, liking, hating, sharing, wanting, wishing willing, thinking…? (and it goes on)”. It’s the blog-o-buzz at the moment, and for once, it’s a service that deserves it because it’s well made and actually fits a purpose.
With a social network in the backend (friends and followers and the usual ya-da), Plurk is about two things: seeing, visually on a timeline, what you’re friends are doing, loving, liking… and sharing with your friends, either by text, a photo (URL), or video (URL), what you’re doing, loving, liking… with the same if not more brevity at some of the microblogging services.
In a sense, it’s Twitter 2.0. Let me explain. With Twitter, you get the stale, simple view of the timeline — something your eyeballs themselves have to decipher to taking in the context of time and situation. And as for posting, you’re limited to 140 characters, and the beauty or the curse of the service is that that 140 characters is really a blank canvas: while it’s asking you “What are you doing?,” your answer could really be anything, which has made the service evolve into something more while defying it’s original purpose.
With Plurk of course, you have leeway, but not in the blank canvas way. Basically, you’re asked to complete this: “It’s [time] and [username] is/loves/likes/shares/gives/hates/wants/wishes/has/will/asks/was/feels/thinks/says”. The result is, a product-directed community as opposed to a community that directs itself, and a particular purpose fullfilled in really knowing and sharing what you and friends have going on in their lives. Will it replace Twitter? No, it serves a slightly different purpose. Will it gain a community? I sure hope so.