New Community Badges and UI Tweak

I was going to go to the bar but somehow here I am blogging about Plurk. First thing I noticed when I routinely clicked “profile” and checked what was new were the new icons below karma. After seeing the community badges, I noticed the star appears there as well and no longer on the avatar on the timeline. I immediately started a plurk to see if anyone had noticed any other tweaks to the user interface; nothing.

Curious what a Plurk Community site is? At first I assumed it’s the “Unofficial Plurk Blog’s” listed on Plurk’s Official Blog; however Amix set the record straight. I’d assume qualifying websites are those that have really embraced plurk and are dedicated solely to it and have been for some time. It’s cool to be recognized by the designers; not aware of any other networks where the admins show appreciation like this. I’m curious what’s going to happen now… Everyone who received a badge the first go around is genuinely a plurk enthusiast as most of these sites were started within a month of the initial “Plurksplosion” into the scene in early June. Where will the line be drawn that determines if a site is eligible or not? I think largely it has to do with the definition of “community”; which typically involves some sort of defined purpose and level of activity. Will this create more work as the requests start flooding plurk’s inbox? Will this turn off people who for whatever reasons tried to get the badge but got rejected?

I’m undecided on the badge idea and my prediction is that the vast majority of plurker’s won’t care about or notice the new badges. I also believe a small group will make a big deal out of it being unfair while many more will apply for the badge whether they qualify or not.

I think this recent user interface could be a great transition towards a system geared more at the casual once a day or so plurker. (We addicts aren’t going anywhere; we love the platform) In this system the badges, stars and other symbols of participation levels(even karma) are visible but not the center of attention. Most plurkers won’t get a star, a badge or reach nirvana so why make them front and center like the star used to be and karma still kinda is? Where plurk goes from here is anyone’s guess but I’m looking forward to it.

Stay tuned for more things plurk,

- Rob

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