Being a writer who spends a lot of his time in front of the computer, I make a heavy use of Internet for research purpose. Lately, with the genesis of so-called Web 2.0, I enthusiastically made a plunge into it with networking as a goal in mind.
One of the newest social network that I joined is Plurk. This post is not meant to explain what Plurk is, but rather to elaborate my personal experience in using it, – and yes, my strange, incoherent ramblings about it.
Assuming that you as the readers are already familiar with Plurk and its concept, let me first state that so far I’ve been involved in a love/hate relationship with it. What started out as an ordinary but excellent way to network with people suddenly soured when some “buddies” made jokes about HIV. Oh, I know that some of them didn’t actually meant it, because they didn’t made jokes directly about HIV itself, but rather what the acronym stands for. Still, for me it showed a lack of respect to other people who may have it. This is described best by the following arguments of one of the people when I stated my objection ( Note : I paraphrased, and names are omitted ) :
( Me ) : Please respect other people. By making a joke of the HIV acronym, you are making light of other people’s trouble. How would you feel if somebody said a joke about what C.I.N.A. stands for ?
( X ) : CINA ! If I’m a Javanese, should I be offended if somebody said a Javanese jokes. Will I be that retarded ? Sheesh !!
At this point, I was really angry. But that’s all in the past. All I said was that : No, Mr. X, you don’t have to be offended … But I’ll be damned if that means that I can tell Javanese jokes as much as I like. You may not be angry, but I have to think about million other Javanese others who may well have finer feelings than you do.
But I digress. It’s just an illustration of how Plurk made me feel. Good potential, but also comes with considerable shortcomings in the same package. I blame it on their Karma system. While understandably it’s an excellent way to induce traffic to their site; at some points it may excite some otherwise-idle users to gain Karma by making meaningless and disturbing plurks.
The way is now paved. Following are what I muse about Plurk.
Fibonacci numerical sequence never fails to fascinate and frustrate me at the same time. Fascinating in its beauty, but frustrating in its complexity. This is also exactly the way Plurk makes me feel now. It’s pretty, in the sense of quality contents scattered here and there, the neat way of timeline presentation and also the greater intimacy you get in the conversational thread ( rather than just replying in the generic timeline a la Twitter ). It’s also frustrating because all that appealing benefits are sometimes so rare and clouded by the junks. In fact, from time to time I do feel that searching for good plurks is akin to looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack.
That being said, I think Plurk is an excellent portrayal of our society condition. When I protested about some aforementioned offensive plurks, I couldn’t help but think : maybe this is just the way our society is…. Maybe, just maybe, our world ( read : country ) has indeed grown so selfish and shameless to gain self-indulgence ( read : karma ) at the expense of other people’s feelings. And if it indeed is a good place where I can stare at the most graphic and descriptive ( however brutal ) picture of our culture, then I have a really excellent tool for research.. !
But the ultimate reason why I still love Plurk until now is that for me, Plurk is a honest and actual manifestation of deconstructionism. You see, as I man, I am not perfect and never will be. Plurk forces me to consider some issues and values I would not even think to challenge otherwise. For instance, this question popped out in my mind : Does it really matter what other people think about your condition ? Does it really matter if for them, it’s nothing serious ?. And I have to say that, in answering them, indeed I am pushed to think hard and grope deep inside myself. In the end, similar to the greatest appeal of Deconstructionism as a school of thought; Plurk holds a potential of making a person a better man… !
So there you go… Rather incoherent, isn’t it ? I told you… But I really am till struggling to understand this weird animal. All I can say is, if you roll Fibonacci, social portrayal and deconstructionism into one; you’ll surely end up with a creature that is ( as Mr. Joe Satriani likes to put it ) strange / beautiful. I don’t know about you, but I surely am enjoying myself watching and playing with it… ! 🙂