Thursday, January 20, 2011

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Plurk Lists Second Life on Its Front Page, Showing High Activity of the SL Community -- and SL's Need for an Asynchronous Communication Platform

Second Life Plurk Front Page

Plurk, the popular microblogging site, has recently added Second Life to its front page, which tracks hot and user-favorited Plurk threads. The virtual world is listed right alongside categories such as language and national origin (Plurk is very popular in several Asian countries), so it's quite a promotion.

"We added the Second Life category a few days after launching the Front Page last week," Kan, a developer with Plurk, tells me. "[W]e have a rather large and very loyal group of Second Life users who've been using our service pretty much from the early days we launched. Their tastes and discourse also tends toward more Second Life related topics, so having a category where they can see the buzz and connect with other Second Lifers on Plurk was a natural next step."

Kan tells me Plurk now gets about 6-7 million total monthly uniques, so in terms of raw numbers, the Second Life Plurkers are actually a small subset:

"[W]e have several thousand daily active Second Life users and again, they tend to be the most active and engaged of most of our niche audiences," Kan says by email.  I use Plurk frequently myself, and can confirm the passionate engagement of the SL community on the system. In fact, some Second Lifers use Plurk to communicate with each other, while also IMing and chatting in Second Life. So while the Plurk activity is impressive in itself, it also suggests the deep need Second Lifers have for an asynchronous communication platform that's not available on SL itself. Plurk is particularly good at providing that, because unlike Twitter and Facebook, which tend to aggregate conversations around a single user, Plurk aggregates around different conversation threads that are archived as permalinks. Which again brings up a related topic I raised a several years ago: Maybe Linden Lab should just buy Plurk.

Hat tip: Arianna Earst.



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Marx Dudek

Or perhaps they should focus their attention on a social networking system that SL people aren't afraid to use and use often, *and* that doesn't insist on RL identities.

LL just doesn't get it.

Marianne McCann

Sorta like what I talked about over here?

Opensource Obscure

With the new Web Profiles, you can link your Second Life identity to Twitter - but not to Plurk.
Click here to request Plurk support in Web Profiles
(it's the official SL bug tracker: log in with your SL account, then vote)

Nedria Cyr

Noooo, don't even suggest LL buy out Plurk - they'll ruin it, just like they did with Avatars United.

Opensource Obscure

Wow, Plurk is really popular - after a couple of hours, the request for Plurk support in Web Profiles on the SL PJIRA bug tracker got 100 votes.

Anyway, Yoz Linden replied that currently Plurk lacks OAuth-style authorization APIs, and this makes Plurk support unlikely.
It may help to ask Plurk if they can do something about this.
Using the contact form seems a viable option:

Moggs Oceanlane

I sincerely hope that LL does not purchase Plurk. I want it to last.

I love that it's not just avatars on there as while I mostly use my account to communicate with other SLers I have a few real life friends on their and some people who share professional interests... and others whom I have discovered through shared interests or just because they are interesting/quirky.

I think Plurk works because it's a micro forum rather than a micro blog... so facilitates discussion and helps build communities/networks *shrugs*

Raven Haalan

In my opinion, has the secret sauce for short message community building, but there are two things to consider... the first of which is - what works for the existing users (and by extension, we can assume future users)...

... and then the other question is - what will work to attract new users? The SL plurk community is THE place to be to interact with other SLers, but it's walled off from non-SLers.

Growth has to be on the Lab's mind, and facebook would rock for that - but fist, the identity lines between our enthusiastically metaversal selves and our actual selves needs to crumble.

... that's not gonna happen without a lot of de-stigmatizing and clarification and de-sensationalizing of SL and the like. I think that's where the effort needs to go, not selecting a social platform for all of us to be together, alone, on.

I think the new CEO gets it. He's the first dude in the chair to position SL as a creativity tool convincingly. Here's hoping.

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