Social Networking: Plurk and Avatar Social Network
In previous articles I have gotten into the use of Flickr and how to use it to expand your audience of your blog and this time I will cover two other Social Networks that are both heavily used by Second Life residents – bloggers, creators, artist and designers: Plurk and Avatar Social Network.
Maybe you have heard of them, maybe you are even active on one (or both), but I am sure a lot of fellow bloggers are not.
Yes, it is really named that way. People on Plurk are called ‘Plurkers’ and just like you tweet on Twitter, you well…plurk on Plurk.
Plurk (it is free) is best decribed as some kind of Twitter, as the updates..sorry, plurks, are brief, usually accompanied with an image, link to a blog or a youtube. The socalled: micro blogging.
There are also mobile apps for Plurk, making it a very fast, dynamic environment and depending on how many friends or fans you have it may get overwhelming when not keeping up.
The big difference with any other social network isn’t so much in the stream of updates but the lay out/ook and feel of Plurk.
Plurk, unlike any other social network I know, makes use of a so-called ‘river’ timeline. Your wall, or Timeline (TL in Plurkspeak) does not follow the usual vertical stream but a horizontal one. Meaning, when you scroll, the Plurks do not go down, but from left to right.
This is surely something you have to get used to and you would not be the only one getting discouraged and cross eyed from looking at it.
But if you will give it a chance and take the time to get familiar with this rather peculiar way of scrolling, you may find Plurk is in terms of content actually quite nice once you have found some friends and fans to follow.
Lots of creators, blogger and artists (Second life has an official Plurk account too!) Plurk their work, or sneak previews of work-in-progress even, you will see tons of links to the latest events, blogger applications, questions and answers about everything when it comes to blogging, photography, tips and tricks on viewers and photoshop and what is happening in the fashion- home and decorating scene.
Now. I am not saying Plurk is for everyone as there is of course – as in all social networks – another side which you will have to learn to accept or ignore. The drama, gossip and such. It happens. It also, of course, depends on who you follow but it is inevitable that at some point – when active – you will see it. I am not judging and saying this is a bad thing, I am just saying that there is drama on Plurk. Sometimes.
But there is, thankfully, way more fun and things to share and things you always wanted to know, people you will meet, and that makes up for the occasional not-so-nice moments.
So, for the bloggers here..if you are looking for a community, a network where bloggers, creators and consumers come together to share their experiences, their work and yes..their real life too in some cases, you may want to give Plurk a try.
Not by just spamming links to your blog, participation is key – as in all networks!
Avatar Social Network, or ASN
ASN is what the name says it is: a social network designed and set up for Avatars, not limited to Second Life – as the IMVU community has found its way to ASN as well – but by using filters you can limit what you see.
Specially since Facebook every now and then removes avatar-accounts, people have found a safe place to replace their SL-Facebook.
ASN has the look and feel of Facebook, with your wall, a profile banner, the option to create and join groups, the way you do a status update and friending people.
You can add photo-albums and write blogs and there is a forum for discussions and banter which would not fit on your wall.
The big difference with Facebook is that ASN is actively and heavily moderated by the owner of ASN (Arkad Baxton) and a team of moderators. Even your status updates, when not complying to the rules (they have rules, read them here) can be removed even without someone ever having compained about it.
The rules are simple by the way: just keep your ASN presence ‘family friendly’ and play nice.
If this is not your cup of tea and you love to stir up things and drama, then I would say….nah, don’t go there.
However, if you are interested in shared experiences, blogs, have questions or just like to chat about with other SL residents in a friendly environment (PG and all) then yes, it is certainly worthwhile.
Finding ‘friends’ on ASN isn’t hard, you will see ‘new avatars’ and you will see on the mainfeed (you have your own wall, a wall with your friends and a complete wall) and sending out a friendship request is as easy as on Facebook.
You can login ASN by using your Facebook or Twitter account, or create a new one, it is all free. There are also inworld parties/meetings in the ASN location in SL and you can join the inworld Avatar Social Network group for updates and social activities.