ConversationsA lot of what makes Plurk work is usability. The designers of the system seem to have understood exactly what GUI elements would enhance the interactivity of Plurk users. The division of posts into conversations is brilliant, and is so much more engaging than the stodgy in-line style of chief rival Twitter. When you are using Plurk, as someone (kmunse?) said recently, it is like having five real-life conversations all at once. It draws you in and keeps you in.

That conversation stream, placed on a timeline, makes it very easy to have those conversations. You can tell just how easy it is by looking at the numbers of messages that fly by on Plurk. I have done the math with my own Plurk vs Twitter experience and when calculated per friend it looks as if the Plurk per friend ratio is easily ten times the Twitter per friend rate. For those worried about whether Plurk will scale, if Plurk has 1/10 the number of users of Twitter, which it may well have, then is is already dealing with the same level of message traffic as Twitter.

And, of course, Plurk reminds you constantly of which of those conversations has something new in it. While you are on line and in the stream, it is hard to lose track of the conversations. Even better, just like at a party, new people keep walking up and keeping the conversation lively. Admittedly, some of the conversations are less than riveting, but it is very easy to keep track of the ones that you are interested in. Plurk rocks.

If you see me in conversation, jump right in. I’m KDFrawg.