I remember the first time I was introduced to Plurk
. It was at a weekend planning session two Decembers ago. The group was talking about Facebook and Twitter, when the youngest of us said Plurk was the best. It was real-time, interactive, micro-blogging. PLURK?! To begin with, what kind of name was that? The last thing I wanted was one more reason to STAY online. But pretty soon two laptops were up and running again and two people in the group were typing away. And giggling. Typing. Laughing. Before the night ended, we all had our laptops open and an online conversation was in full swing, in separate rooms. Ok, so that’s a bit scary, given we were in the same house, but it was fun!! Thus, our little Plurk community was born.
What’s interesting is that it has morphed into a virtual office for our group. Plurk has become more than just a space for idle chatter–though sometimes it is that–but a platform for virtual meetings. We’ve had a lot of “aha” moments chatting online that have led us to pursue certain new paths in our line of work (social transformation initiatives). We set meetings and make plans there and update each other on our joys and sorrows as well.
Plurk has been so useful also when we travel. There was a time two of us were California, another was in New York, and the rest of the team was at home in different parts of Manila. The work continued to flow, as our friendships did, and we continued to update each other on our lives and our work. You open your Plurk screen in the morning, and there everyone is.
Some people keep their Plurks open to the public and have fans. I’ve made a conscious choice not to do that and to limit my community to work, family, plus. That’s one of the things I love about it: I can define it. I know what I want to use it for and that’s what it has been for me.
I recently left Facebook, am trying out Twitter (so far, it doesn’t do anything for me), but Plurk has remained my constant online window to a relevant world I have defined. I love the way it is organized (you have to experience it to understand what I mean). I love that you can really feel community there. It’s one way I’ve kept in touch with a sister who lives in California, so that when we do see each other, it doesn’t feel like we were apart at all. You can have silly chatter, but you can also have locked exchanges and have serious conversations, as many of us have.
I’ve accepted that it’s impossible to be free of online social platforms, but I find that so far only Plurk gives me what I need–a true community, albeit online–that is safe, fun, and really useful.
If you have something to say online and don’t need to shout it out to the often murky online world, Plurk