Thursday, June 5, 2008

Twitter Clones and Derivatives

Twitter Clones:

Basically, these guys got in on the microblogging game in an attempt to make Twitter the Friendster of microblogging. Enjoy the rundown!

Plurk: the latest media craze, it's a micro-blogging site that bills itself as "A really snazzy site that allows you to showcase the events that make up your life, and follow the events of the people that matter to you, in deliciously digestible short messages called plurks." They have this Urban-dictionary-esque definition about their neologism:

Verb. plurk (plüer-kh) - To chronicle the events of your always on, action-packed, storybook, semi-charmed kinda life.

I almost fell of the chair snickering. Man, 1997 was such an awesome year. Too bad the kids they're supposedly marketing this toward have no idea who Third Eye Blind is. When I read that sentence, I got the uncomfortable feeling I get when someone over 50 casually uses "phat" 10 years after it was allegedly "cool." Anyway, I digress. Plurk is exactly like Twitter with the 140 character limit, but with more goofy-cute characters, and other crazy features like timelines, cliques, and qualifiers. Made by Amir, Armin, Deniz, Alvin, Dima, Alexei, and aKan.

Jaiku: another microblog competitor, founded in February 2006 by Jyri Engeström and Petteri Koponen. It also has a 140 character limit. Jaiku was bought by Google in October of 2007. According to Wikipedia, "One of the main differences between Jaiku and its competitor Twitter is Lifestream, an internet feed that shares users online activities utilizing other programs such as flickr for photos, for music, and location by mobile phone." Basically though, it's exactly like Twitter but with a love of verdant green.

Tumblr: extremely customizeable, extremely well designed site. They explain their concept as, "if blogs are journals, tumblelogs are scrapbooks." Tumblr empowers mixed media posts, and unlike the other microblog sites, it does not have a character limit... thus it would be fair to say it's more of a miniblog site, rather than microblog.

Pownce: another miniblogging site that also doubles as a social networking site. They bill themselves as, "way to send stuff to your friends. What kind of stuff? You can send just about anything: music, photos, messages, links, events, and more... Pownce is brought to you by a bunch of geeks who were frustrated trying to send stuff from one cube to another." Pownce has a little bit of a Tumblr feel; it also doesn't have text limits. Launched in June 2007, it was made by Kevin Rose, Leah Culver, Daniel Burka, and Shawn Allen.

Pheltup: not actually a Twitter clone, but a giant hoax perpetuated through Twitter. Phunny.

Twitter Derivatives:

Twittervision: shows you in real time what people are saying on Twitter, as well as visually pinpointing where they are twittering from. Twittervision personifies users as hastily-drawn, bright-colored birds the size of Arizona. The map pans east and west to follow the next tweet. Very neat.

Straw Poll: a very-well designed barnyard-themed Twitter profile that asks a daily question. Followers can vote on the straw poll by directing their replies to "@strawpoll".

Twistory: a derivative written by Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs which pulls up the latest tweets that include one of 6 words: love, hate, think, believe, feel, and wish. The background is black, the words move upward, and the text is large and colorful. What's not to love?

Pico buzz: a Twitter web app that displays the top most popular words on Twitter. It displays kind of like a Billboard Top 100 music chart because it displays a word's current position and what rank it had last. With a rollover, you can see the full quote.

Summize: it's like Google for Twitter. As a non-expert, I can't vouch for the search quality but I can say the app searches Twitter for words and phrases. If you're curious about what's new on the Interwebs, just punch it in and see. I like the simple interface, and have no quarrels with their goofy color choice.


So as promised, yesterday's entry was just a set-up for this one. Yesterday was the bump-set, and today's was the spike. Hope you liked it. I only posted web-based content here, but you can check out more Twitter related things at the Twitter downloadable apps page and the fan wiki.

(From readwriteweb, buzzfeed)


Justin Crisostomo said...

Post Clones and Derivatives: See Yesterday's Post.

Jennifer Klimowicz said...

i am confused to why these sites even exist...doesn't facebook have status updates, and if you want to update your blog hourly, no one is stopping you.
is there a real demand for all these things?
anyways, that's just my very low tech, low technology knowledge two cents on the issue.
well written article though!

W. E. B. Du Blag said...

Jsos: haha.

Jen: Thanks for the compliment! And you're right, I don't think there actually is a demand for ALL those sites... but everyone wants a piece of the dot com pie. It happened with search engines, it happened with social network sites, and now it's happening with microblogs. C'est la vie.

On another note, I sometimes think this blog would look better as a tumblr blog... But I don't want to lose all the traffic I've built up so far, and I like certain blogger features (esp. the "scheduled posts") that I'm not sure are available elsewhere.

Ed said...

I don't think I could ever get into twitted, lest I also overshare. I mean, it's one thing to write a blog entry that is a little too personal, but imagine the extremes thiscould go to. Actually, Penny Arcade already did, bringing the term 'twitter shitter' into my mind, for which I will never forgive them. Also, it does kindof scare me. I mean, in this day and age of cell phones, texting and other instant forms of communication, it seems like one is obligated to stay plugged in. I can only imagine a mother calling her child, berating them for not updating their twitter, because they were SO WORRIED. Does this make me a Luddite?