By now you’ve heard of Twitter, right?
Well it seems that at some point in the last 24 hours or so, a twitter competitor with the unlikely name of ‘Plurk‘ has come into being.
It has probably died too.
Plurk’s first few hours were pretty good. I started seeing Tweets (twitter messages) about it early this morning and signed up for an account. It took less than two minutes to realise I would not be back. First was the lack of a feature to scrape in or mashup my Twitter feed, functionality that is interesting to many Twitter users and others whose membership of many social networks makes an aggregator/funnel useful. Twitter’s own reliability problems are fuelling the desire for such tools.
Plurk cannot help with these issues, so people are turned off as soon as they register.
Then the IM registration crashed.
Through the day, I have seen many Tweets recording similar dissatisfaction. As I write, the Tweets are describing an ongoing crash. So all the folks hoping to try the new service are instead frustrated.
I suspect the final nail in the Plurk coffin is this Tweet from Robert Scoble, in which he writes:
Hahahah. Plurk is already down. Fail. And no Fail Whale, either. Double fail! Hint: if you want to be the next Twitter: stay up. Always.
You don’t need to be a genius to reach that conclusion. You also don’t need to be a genius to realise that ANY product or service can lose any chance of success in the first few hours of its life these days. Perhaps more importantly, when powerful influencers like Scoble comment on new products in more or less real time, your product needs to be amazingly robust the second you release it.
I’ve no idea if PRs are ready for this kind of ultra-fast news cycle.
Anyway, I now wonder if tanking spectacularly, as Plurk has done, could become known as ‘Plurking’ or ‘The Plurk Effect’?
Probably not, because Plurk is a really stupid name. But that’s another discussion.