The Difference Between Facebook, Plurk and Twitter

Originally written as a response to Ben Barden’s article entitled 10 Sites I No Longer Use, and why I Stopped Using Them [c. July 22, 2009 ], but it got so long that I felt it warranted its own article.

I use Facebook to connect with family and close-friends; I use Twitter to connect with colleagues who won’t do Facebook; I chat on Plurk to have easy-to-follow conversations. (Links to each displayed in sidebar)

Each social-network has their own merits, but …

Control Board of 500meg HD

1. Whilst Facebook is the mos popular, it is still not the best location for conversation.

Who needs Farmville or other personality-Apps? Conversations are sporadic and short-lived. Takeaway the apps, colours and sidebars – all you have is an old-fashioned long-threaded forum.

Over the last twelve months of my Facebook membership, I have used Facebook to advertise my services, abilities, and photography of Adelaide events. This has been most advantageous and also proved to be most beneficial. I’ve also gained friends, real friends not just followers, in many different business capacities, all of whom I regularly contact for both business and conversation. I can now say that Facebook is a great network. So long as you put in the effort and leave the ego at home.

2. Plurk is the easiest to use for two simple reasons:

A. Conversations each have their own timeline and page. Responses appear in real-time, regardless of your location on the planet. You can leave a conversation overnight, then come back to it. The community you build will wait because they know you need to sleep, work or recover.

B. You can chat amongst multiple conversations all on the same screen, all at the same time. Including those you started! You can chat with Arthur about cars, Martha about knitting, whilst Martha and Arthur chat about underwater macramé, all simultaneously, and anybody can jump into the others conversations.
Yes, they can also be made private!

3. I’ve re-awakened my love of Twitter, and even I am not sure why.

Yet I do like the way the page flows, the conversations work. Whether you view it using your browser or an application, you can make Twitter make for you: By linking to like-minded people, or persons of similar interests, Twitter is a great way to connect. Personally, I enjoy linking with people in the IT, photography and graphic design industry’s. Being an avid photographer and graphic designer, it is a feel-good thing to connect with others who hold the same interests.

Getting involved with SocADL through Twitter means I have had the grand opportunity to meet these Adelaide twitters, so my online-network has become a life-line to the real-world, away from the computer. Which is an ironic twist to the whole online-social-networking scene!

What I like most about Twitter is that allows users to customise their wallpaper. The religiously-devoted create wallpaper that tells viewers what their business-interests or online-network includes. So it becomes a cheap way to get some extra-advertising space!

Which of these three social networks do you use?

Or can you recommend any others? I also use LinkedIn for professional-connections, Ning for Adelaide-specific networking, Flickr and Redbubble-forums occasionally, but I am not adding more to my collection!!

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14 thoughts on “The Difference Between Facebook, Plurk and Twitter

  1. right now my preference is twitter, i just like following interesting people, unfortunately while i use facebook to connect with friends and family, they are not necessarily the most interesting people in the world!

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  2. I almost fell out of love with FB a year ago in preference to Twitter, but after some soul searching realised they were two distinct audiences that I needed to engage differently. FB is more personal and about ‘me’ while Twitter I’m using more to share my thoughts and ideas. I’m also much more liberal about who I friend on FB while I like to keep my tweetstream pretty tight with the stuff that interests me.

    Mal Chia

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  3. Hello Loc, you are funny! I am the same: Facebook has enabled to connect with close family, plus a few people whom I really would like to know better, people whom I would not have been introduced to any other way!

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  4. Hello Mal, good to have another Adelaide-local commenting! You’ve definitely hit the nail on the head: Both have two different audiences, and both definitely need to be address differently. This is why I retain my membership at both!

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  5. I use Facebook for Communication in a playful kind of way, Twitter pretty much as a broadcast tool and Plurk for the deeper and more meaningful chatline. They have there place and they are still just variations on a theme

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  6. For me the winner is Plurk for the reasons you have discussed already, it is addictive with a broad worldwide audience, plus there is no advertising.

    Facebook I keep so I can keep tabs on some people, but the live feed pisses me off, ditto with advertising.

    I still retain a Twitter account but am not active there I would prefer to use google reader to subscribe to some twitterers… especially graphic art/photoshop link provider types that can seem like they are spamming your twitter feed. That way I don’t miss links to font, textures etc.

    As for forums elsewhere I rarely use them these days

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  7. Shelley, you’ve also hit the nail on the head: Nil advertising — other than the products, gadgets and other websites we freely advertise to each other!

    Google-reader? Is that like Google-wave?

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  8. I use all three and, like you, have recently started using Twitter again, primarily because a few of my longterm friends refuse to Plurk. I still don’t like the layout of Twitter, but I am beginning to like using TweetDeck which gives me a better visual flow of what’s up and what’s not.

    Grand article, Stephen, well writen and easy to understand.

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  9. It is not at all like google wave it is just a reader for subscriptions to blogs, rb art feeds, twitter feeds etc. Basically anything with an rss or atom feed.

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  10. Monnie, I hooked up with @ATUB on twitter, but never went to any events. Not sure why, but it might have been @CharlieRobinson and @LeeHopkins that convinced me to meet people in Adelaide. And I have not done that in many years!

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  11. Shelley, Thanks for the extra info. I’ve never used that service, but that is a great idea. I use Bloglines.com to catch all my RSS-reading, with over 200 sites that I irregularly read.

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