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In case you didn’t already know, Plurk is a microblogging platform with obvious similarities to Twitter and Pownce. However, there are many significant and subtle differences. All in all, Plurk is way cooler than the rest. In this post I’ll share why and what else there is to know and do to enjoy a successful Plurk existence.

1. Timeline & Conversation

Instead of keeping messages in a bleak list, they are stored in a timeline that can easily be scrolled through back and forth. Replies can be made directly to a specific plurk and they are not lost somewhere along the timeline, rather they are tied to the original message. The number in the top right of each message indicates how many replies it has received and clicking the number will display all replies. Additionally, you can view either all plurks you are following, only your own plurks, private plurks or all the conversations you got into, i.e. plurks you have replied to.

Interesting conversations can be discovered at onPlurk . A great way to get involved and find like-minded Plurkers.

2. Karma

High Karma equals high activity and popularity. Currently, the most regular, most active, and most popular Plurkers have Karmas at around 90 points, the highest being just over 97. The website Plurkmania keeps a record of the top users by karma, friends, plurks and more.

You can earn yourself a higher Karma by plurking, replying to plurks, gaining more friends and fans, using icons, and recruiting new Plurkers.

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Karma used to be frustrating when short times of absence (sleep or weekends) yielded a steep decline, however it seems like it takes much longer now until inactivity seriously affects your Karma. To track your karma, add karma_trends to your friends and check out your graph karma score at plurk karma trends.

Please note that the site can only monitor karma changes after you added karma_trends to your friends, so your Plurk username will not be found until your karma changed at least once.

3. Customization (Plurk Themes)

Customizing your profile is very easy and gives you extra Karma points. Themes are widely available, for example at Plurk Themes, Plurk Templates, Flickr Plurk Themes, Plurk Layouts, and Plurk Themes by Shutian. All you do is copy the CSS code of a theme you like, then head over to Plurk >edit your profile >Customize profile, paste the code into the grey box and hit >Save and update. Of course if you know CSS you can create your own custom profile, which is even cooler.

plurk themes

4. Tricks

There are a few tricks that will make your plurking more comfortable. For example raw URLs from YouTube, Flickr, TinyPic, ImageShack or Photobucket will be displayed in share-friendly images or videos. Just click the tiny image in a post to increase the shared link and watch it.

More tricks:
– link to a user’s profile by plurking @username
– to display a word in italics use asterisks like *this* to get this
– make a word bold with double italics like **this** to get this
– to underline a world, use double underscores like __this__ to get this
– text links are written like http://www.makeuseof.com (this) to get this
– get the high-karma smileys before your time here and even more Plurkoticons here

5. Offsite Plurking

The Plurk Firefox Sidebar gives you a little more freedom in combining surfing and plurking. A real desktop client is PlurkAir or Plurker, both of which are Adobe Air plugins. The disadvantage of these tools is that the unique timeline is lost, instead messages adopt a Twitter-like list style. At least Plurker comes with a sleek interface.

Alternatively, you can update your Plurk with most popular chat clients, WAP, iPhone/iPod, SMS or eMail using Ping.fm or HelloTxt.

Unfortunately, an independent Plurk desktop client doesn’t seem to be available at this point.

Jimmy has previously asked all of us Psst…Do You Plurk? Psst...Do You Plurk? Psst...Do You Plurk? Read More Well, yes I do!

Do you plurk? Why?

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