Plurk – a microblog too far?

Twitter this evening is rife with talk about Plurk, a new micro-blogging service that brings a whole new meaning to the term feature-creep. I’m here.

I mean, the joy of Twitter, and I suspect the reason why we all stick with it despite the appallingly flakey service we receive, is its simplicity. It let you post short messages on the web, and that’s pretty much it. You can do more than that, but that is usually by using a third party service through the APIs.

Plurk adds stuff like groups, called – deliberately provocatively, surely – ‘cliques’, so you can send messages to just a select group of folk, points for regular posting (like that won’t encourage pointless noise…) and the ability to have what look like threaded replies under posts.

I just don’t need this stuff, frankly. The best thing that comes from Twitter is contained within the 140 characters of the posts people make. It’s about the content, not the bells and whistles.

But the most fundamentally annoying thing I found with Plurk during my brief play this evening is the way the whole thing is presented – on a horizontal rather than vertical timeline, which run from right to left. This means that the most recent stuff is the first thing you see, which is good, but once you start scrolling it soon gets really confusing. Well, it does for me.

Lots of people are signing up and giving it a go. But I can’t see anyone sticking with this in the long term. Unless they’re mental.