Posts tagged: plurk

How social networking in Vietnam is different from other countries in the region

By , November 20, 2011 4:12 pm

10 years ago the first thing Vietnamese learn about communicating through the Internet is chatting. There were some services targeting Vietnam market before Yahoo! Messenger came to dominate all communication channels.

Yahoo! Messenger’s domination in Vietnam opened up the way for Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! 360. In recent years, the email market share is largely chipped by Gmail. Yahoo! Messenger, while the top IM client, faces competition from Skype. Hotmail, Live Messenger and Gtalk are not widely popular in the country.

A growing trend is, however, that people start to learn about social networking and Facebook. Many sign up for the Internet to, first thing first, communicating via social networks. The same is happening in other South East Asian countries.

The social network battle in Vietnam in 2011 boils down to the dual-horse race between the two leaders Zing Me and Facebook. While Twitter and Plurk gain traction in other countries in the region, micro-blogging in Vietnam has never taken off. Even technology-enthusiasts use Facebook for live reporting (which Twitter is logically most suitable for) and viralling current events.

Why? My attempt to answer the question:

  1. Vietnamese language comes with diacritics thus requires a lot more than 140 characters to express a full sentence
  2. Vietnamese users are more familiar with “Add Friend” relationship than “Follow” mechanism
  3. Most importantly, Twitter doesn’t satisfy the gamification demand crazed by Vietnamese users. Vietnamese teenagers go on Zing Me mostly to play webgames. Many also go on Facebook sheerly for games rather than for connecting. Foursquare has received lots of attention probably thanks to the rewards and Mayor competition.

The next question pops into my mind: if gamification is so important, why hasn’t Plurk known in Vietnam while it is very popular in Taiwan and the Philippines? Again, my attempt

  1. Plurk hasn’t been covered by local media which is crucial in the growth of services. Facebook received local media coverage.
  2. Many influencers don’t know what Plurk is. As for me, I deactivated my Plurk account after collecting many medals.

Thanks @salsabeela and @kounila for sharing the information on social networking in your countries.


Tumblr is growing rapidly in Vietnam.

Ngoc Hieu has an explanation on the adaption Twitter: Vietnamese users like colors and emotions, neither of which Twitter offers.

Microblogging and social bookmarking 2011

By , October 8, 2011 3:43 pm
  • At its peak, Twitter had no more than 3000 users in Vietnam, the majority among whom are geeks. This is a rough estimation from many avid users. The number has dropped drastically since 2008.
  • Most Twitter clones in Vietnam failed. This year, I only see left. It eventually implemented SMS updates that I had hinted back in 2009.
  • 2 years after I deplurked, Plurk has been slowly gaining traction in Philippines and Taiwan. While information on the reasons Weibo dominates China is easy to find, analysis on Plurk is limited I still can’t answer why. A Taiwanese friend of mine, upon receiving my question, replied briefly “Personally I think the mechanism of Plurk is very close to Taiwanese ideology of mumbling”.
  • When Twitter clones don’t work, a new wave of products were hatched: VNG launched Zing Live, a proclaimed Weibo clone by its CEO. VCCorp launched and Pega, surprisingly, works on “add friend” rather than “follow” mechanism.
  • I would expect more Weibo clones to come.
  • Digg, reddit, Mixx, slashdot, furk are all dropping
  • Meanwhile, StumbleUpon is having a spike in traffic. What has it done right?

stumbleupon traffic

I dePlurked myself and why

By , February 9, 2009 1:06 am

Plurk Logo

I have deactivated my Plurk account 5 months ago but this item has been of lower priority I can only find time for it now.

Here are some reasons why I deactivated my account from this very interesting service.

Just a quick note: maybe it’s unfair to compare Plurk with Twitter  all the time but I can’t help it.

1. Audience

Some social media power users are active on Twitter, but not on Plurk or FriendFeed. Spending time on Plurk rather than Twitter means my information gathering is not as efficient.

2. Twitter ecology

Twitter grew 400% last year, and so did its ecology: all the applications built around Twitter.

Plurk doesn’t have this.

3. Cross-platform issue

When I want to plurk, I want the plurk tweeted too. This can be solved by using a third-party service such as

However, is unstable some time.

(1), (2) and (3) above are not Plurk’s faults. It’s just unfair that Plurk was born much later than Twitter.

Now, here are some issues I was having directly involving Plurk.

4. Weird mascots

Twitter uses bird, owl and whale for their design. Kinda cute the bird is.

Plurk pushes this further by introducing fish, lizards, ancient animals, beholders, alien-like creatures… It’s too much to endure. I would not want any of my profile appeared to my colleagues or grad school administrative or potential employers as unprofessional.

5. Too slow, compared to Twitter

The whole idea of micro-blogging / public timeline is to broadcast your message fast. Plurk interface is definitely more interesting than that of Twitter but it’s much slower to load.

6. Privacy option

Maybe it’s just me but I have the need to, at certain points of time, hide all my statuses from public view. Plurk doesn’t provide this while Twitter does.

7. Reward system and penalties

Plurkers receive Karma for plurking, and they receive penalties (Karma reduction) for not plurking.

Sadly, but I don’t feed my family on social media, let alone Plurk. I can’t spend my time with Plurk everyday to reach Nirvana and maintain my position there.

A reward system is pretty, especially for ones who want to become power users, but the penalty is ugly, drives me away from the service.


So there, I stopped at 60+ Karma and reset my entire account.

I’m not commenting on Plurk’s possibility of success. I was just telling my experience with this service.

Good luck anyway, Plurk team. All the best. TaiTran

How to explain Twitter to your purely-business peers in less than 10 minutes

By , December 14, 2008 11:50 pm

Click here to update your life to those who you care about and receive updates from them in one flick with Plurk

By , August 26, 2008 11:29 am

Update quicker, more conveniently and more centralizedly

First of all, you want to stay updated with your family, friends and other networks. Conventionally, you can use phones, emails, IMs or face-to-face to communicate.

But there are 2 issues with the conventional channels:

  1. The updates are scattered through everywhere
  2. You only update significant events. How about other every little stuffs you do that matter to your beloved and make you an interesting person?

One solution has come: Plurk

And here comes Plurk

What is Plurk?

Plurk is a FREE web service that allows you to update your activities, receive updates from your connections on a timeline graph.

What is timeline?

Plurk Timeline

Plurk is not just text. There is the time flowing and the messages look like they float it is interesting and fun to follow.

For navigation, there are 4 ways to navigate through the timeline:

  1. drag with mouse
  2. scroll with mouse wheel
  3. use the arrow button graphics at both the right/left end of the timeline
  4. keyboard arrow keys <= =>

Updating your activities is one important way to increase your Karma.

What is Karma?

Karma is the point you receive when Plurking. You can see the short list of Karma in this picture:

Plurk Karma list

For more details, you can go to the help page for Karma at

Karma scores are calculated 3 times a day, 12:00 am, 8:00 am, and 4:00 pm Universal time.

What is Karma for?

With Karma, you can

  1. Customize your profile and change your mascot
  2. Use more emoticons
  3. Maybe more in future

How to increase Karma

  1. Plurk regularly, but not more than 30 plurks per day
  2. Invite friends
  3. Update your profile
  4. Plurk interesting stuffs to get responses
  5. Get more fans

Also, beware of actions that lower Karma

  1. Losing fans
  2. Friend request rejected
  3. Spam
  4. Inactivity

Other features

You can also share links on Plurk. Long URLs are shortened.

Clique is simply a group of friends. Maybe 5 of your friends play on the same soccer team, or maybe 3 of your friends work at the same company. Cliques help you manage your audience so that you can send plurks to only the friends who need to be notified.

Badges are included on your profile whenever you achieve certain milestones on Plurk like “Reached Plurk nirvana”, “Invited more than 10 users”, “Has more than 50 fans”, “Translator”…

You can view interesting Plurkers at

Why Plurk

So comes the big question: why do I have to use Plurk?

Firstly, it solves the problem: update and get updates. Plurk centralizes all your updates in one place. Plurk is quick. Plurk is fun. Plurk is real-time and is with an interesting interface.

Secondly, Plurk can be used as a micro-blog. Imagine you’re so busy to write a long blog post. With Plurk, you can note down quickly and easily.

Next, Plurk is a powerful tool to make announcements to your followers.

What’s more, Plurk is a place to make new friends who share the same interests as yours.

What are other reasons to use Plurk that I haven’t thought of?

Tools for Plurk

There are some handy tools that make Plurking more exciting.

  1. Firefox Sidebar gives you a Twitter-like interface in a sidebar.
  2. allows you send updates to Twitter and Plurk simultaneously as well as other social networking services like Facebook, MySpace, Friendster…
  3. Karma Trends shows your karma accumulation progress.
  4. Mobile Plurk is a version of Plurk on Mobiles.
  5. FriendFeed Tab adds a Plurk tab to your FriendFeed page.

What are other things I can look at?

The press page:

The blog of the team:

The Plurk team: . You can view amix, deniz, alvin, dima

So what’s next?

I won’t let you stop here wondering what to do. Just CLICK HERE and start Plurking with me.

Tai Tran's Choices (and dilemma) of Media

By , July 30, 2008 4:07 pm
Service vs. Service I choose: Why? But…
Self-hosted WordPress vs. Self-hosted WordPress Branding & Plugins
Facebook vs. MySpace Facebook Facebook is more organized vs. diigo diigo Web high-lighting My community is on
Twitter vs. Plurk Plurk Timeline GUI My community is on Twitter
Digg vs. reddit vs. Mixx Mixx Less hostile toward content creators
Yahoo! Mail vs. Gmail vs. Hotmail Yahoo! Mail is easier to remember for my connections I really want to use Gmail
Yahoo! Messenger vs. Windows Live Messenger vs. Gtalk Windows Live Messenger Twice the maximum number of friends one account can add compared to that of Y!M is easier to remember for my connections

What is your choice of media channel? Do you have dilemmas of choosing them?

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