Needy Karma Turning Off Casual Plurkers?

Before reading this understand the premise for this bloggery. It’s Sunday night and I login to Plurk after a fun day and see my karma has dropped; whatever. Now I don’t have ANYTHING worthy of sharing with anyone and I’m about to go to bed. If I don’t post about something I’ll be down again. Do I really have to plurk about what I’m doing four times a day to stay in good graces on this network?

The question is what’s the experience for someone new to plurk? What about the casual user who doesn’t have friends berating them about how great it is? You register think plurk is alright; check back a day or two later with almost no karma and a big down arrow to say thanks for coming back? Regardless of what people may say most want to be a user in good standings according to the networks terms.

The karma system at Plurk is much too needy in its current state. It’s no surprise that some sources claim plurks numbers are down. This same piece also mentions that those that are into it are really into it. Sounds to me like some love plurk and will do whatever is required to stay in “positive” standings while others are being totally put off by it.

Regardless of your level of interest in karma it’s human nature to dislike negative grades. Each time a casual user or even a remotely dedicated daily user logs in; they see a negative if the last login wasn’t a few hours prior. All this wouldn’t matter if there wasn’t such stress on karma. The plurk widget you embed on your site is promoting karma, plurk’s “most interesting” list and of course access to site features are all based on karma. Seems like everything revolves around karma?

My sentiment is that if such an integral part of the site is too demanding of the users attention it’ bound to turn off many casual ones. It could also eventually turn off those in the interested / somewhat dedicated group as well; bad news for an emerging network.

I always hate it when someone complains and makes no suggestions. Here are mine: make it possible to maintain a steady score by plurking every ~48+ hours. Your karma only starts to decline(gradually) after ~48+ hours of no updates. In order to increase your karma it could be left essentially the same but preferably 1 or 2 updates a day instead of 3 or 4.

At least by writing this I have something relevant to share with my friends while avoiding karma’s wrath.

Stay tuned for more things plurk,


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