Last week, I looked at Plurk, a new lifestreaming startup based in Toronto, Canada. Aside from its creative name, Plurk leverages concepts from Twitter to offer an unique timeline based lifestreaming product worth taking a look at.
Plurk takes on status messaging with a little more structure than Twitter by offering up a set of verbs to construct a status message. It also enables users to share videos and photos from a host of popular video and image hosting sites from YouTube to Flickr. Plurk status messages can also include emoticons for some added flair.
Plurk has the concept of friends and like many social networking sites you start from scratch trying to find all your friends. Plurk attempts to ease the burden associated with friending by allowing users to sign-in to an email or twitter accounts to contact your friends about Plurk. I do not like this as an option for two reasons. First, I just started using Plurk and do not trust it enough to enter my email and twitter login information. Secondly, I don't want to send almost spam-like messages to all my friends telling them to create a Plurk account when I just started using it myself and don't know what they would be in for. I would much rather Plurk approached finding your friends like BrightKite has by, enabling users to simply put in your twitter name and then finding friends common in both systems. I think this would be a much more user friendly way to find your friends on Plurk.
Plurk introduces Karma points which can be gained by you and your friends Plurk activity. The more active you are, the more points you'll get. Using various features of Plurk such as instant messaging or uploading a profile image will also help. Users with a high Karma score will get access to exclusive emoticons. Plurk even shows off users with the most Karma on a leader board.
Overall, I thought Plurk was an interesting lifestreaming site that offers some new concepts that are not present in other lifestreaming sites like Twitter. I also like the playful nature of Plurk, as it is obviously the work of an expressive, creative team. Unfortunately, it might take a little more to make me get out of my daily routine and use Plurk on an everyday basis - maybe a few more days of Twitter instability would do it.