It was passably odd this morning to bring up Twitter in Twhirl and find a quotation from myself. My zine co-editor says that I am the most quotable person that she has ever met, but I think she is just being nice to me. There is very little evidence to support her claim. I will be ever indebted to mwiegand for finally proving that my co-editor might have a point. ;o) The quote I found on Twitter this morning was one that I made up several days ago, in trying to distill the essence of the difference between Plurk and Twitter. Here’s a screen grab from Twitter:

I look upon this as the truth, revealed. When you bring up Twitter, natively or in a client, what you see is a vertical series of announcements by a group of people, i.e. those whom you follow. Those announcements are more or less unconnected to each other visually, except in those rare cases when two or more people happen to be Tweeting at exactly the same time.

Generally, any response is separated from any announcement by many vertical units of measure, and considerable time. Because of this, there tend to be a lot of announcements and very few responses. This makes the interface, and thus the service itself, feel somewhat stiff and formal, as if a town crier were reading announcements in the town square.

When you bring up Plurk, you see a long series of threads. Each thread is a conversation, of one sort of another, spread out along a seemingly infinite visual timeline. Some are like parlor games, some are highly intellectual, some have business aspects, but most are simply fun, an exchange of information among friends. You can time-travel along the timeline, picking from many conversations, seeing what others have said and having your say.

This, of course, makes Plurk seem free, open, and informal. It is very much like being at a party, teeming with people that you know to one level or another, and being able to talk with them (or not) on a selective basis. You can participate in some conversations and ignore others, even making somes disappear if you want to. Likewise, you can choose who to listen to, and which conversations you participate in, and can even make specific people disappear.

All of this results in almost complete social freedom. The level of interaction at Plurk is extremely high. Uttering the equivalent of hundreds of sentences per day is not at all odd. Actual personal things get said on Plurk, and actual personal responses are uttered and listened to, all at a time of your choosing. If you get there late, you can catch up, and still participate. At Plurk, time waits for every man.

I am KDFrawg on Plurk. If you see me, say something meaningful to me.