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Monday, August 10, 2009

Plurk karma

Plurk KarmaPlurk Karma is an interesting little creature. We constantly tell ourselves it isn’t really important, yet we can’t wait to see the next update. Many of our peers and fellow Plurkers say not to worry about it because Karma is designed to benefit those without motive of personal reward.

Ignoring Karma would be easy to do, if it actually worked the way real Karma should… but it doesn’t. Let’s take a look at theWikipedia entry for the word Karma.

Through the law of karma, the effects of all deeds actively create past, present, and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one’s own life, and the pain and joy it brings to him/her and others.

The flaw of Plurk Karma is that it has rules. If you don’t follow these rules, your Karma drops. Traditional Karma operates in a random manner that rewards good deeds that do not have selfish motive, yet Plurk Karma does the complete opposite. In fact, most, if not all Plurkers take actions that bring Karma because they know it will bring Karma. And if we as Plurkers do not follow the rules set forth by the Karma gods, our Karma will fall.

So it’s important to note up front that Plurk Karma in no way operates like real Karma. It never has, and it likely never will.

If Karma is not important to you, and you see no need to work on keeping it on the upward slope, the rest of this post will probably not be for you. If you do, however, wish to succeed in Karma, read on.

How to be Successful With the Current Plurk Karma ALGO

1) Plurk Has Rules
You must always remember this. Plurk has advantages over all other social networks that are extraordinary in design. The system combines the powers of sites such as Twitter, Digg, Chat rooms, instant message and discussion forums.

Because this is new and unchartered territory, Plurk is working to ensure the site isn’t abused and/or spammed. The problem is that the route taken so far is to limit the true ideas of social networking, and place rules on the community. If you’re to thrive in this community, you have to follow the rules.

For example, Plurk discourages you from befriending new Plurkers by penalizing you if your friend request is denied. The idea behind this is to keep Plurk from becoming a hot bed of “power users”, which makes sense. But, by doing this, Plurk has cut out the ability to find new people and build online friendships. If I see someone who I have similar interest in, I want to extend an offer of friendship and begin following their Plurks. This doesn’t make me a “fan”, so why would I become a fan? I want friendship, not to be a fan. Yet, if I’m denied for whatever reason, my Karma drops.

Rules, Plurkers… they do exist.

2) Plurk Hard… Every Day
Unfortunately, Plurk has taken the stance that the more active you become, the more time you’re expected to be Plurking. If you want your Karma to continue climbing, you simply cannot miss a day, period. It doesn’t matter if you have a wedding, church, family vacation… whatever.. you MUST log in and Plurk every single day.

3) Gain Fans and Referrals
The fan part is kind of crappy in my opinion. Over the past week I’ve added a lot of “fans” that actually requested friendship. Why? Because gaining fans helps raise your Karma. And losing friends drops it. So even though you might wish to be a friend and not a fan, chances are you’re going to end up a fan of mine if you request friendship. I know it sounds terrible, but this is the way the Plurkers in charge wanted it, so we have to deal with it.

The rule of thumb is simple… add people as fans.

Referrals also help quite a bit, so be sure and link to your referral URL as often as possible. Link to it from your blog, your social networks, your email… everything.

4) If Plurkers Won’t Respond to it… Don’t Plurk It
I know I know.. but you thought you were just here to share your life right? Wrong. Not if you care about Karma anyway.

Responses to Plurks raise your karma. If you truly want to succeed Karma wise, you have to think about what you’re Plurking, and you have to make sure that every single Plurk has the ability to provoke a response. Therefor, each Plurk has to be crafted to create discussion. the idea that you can just randomly Plurk whatever comes to mind is not a good one when it comes to successful Karma trends.

5) Don’t Plurk Too Much
Plurk recommends you keep your Plurks under 30 per day. Even if you have a busy day and want to share more of your life, you need to zip it to make the Karma gods happy.

This is likely set up to keep spammers from loading the timeline with useless Plurks, but unfortunately the blanketed attempt hurts veteran users who have proven themselves legit.

6) Update Your Profile
This one is simple… upload a pic, edit your profile, etc. it really does help.

These are the basics, Plurkers. You may not like it, but it is what it is. If you’re constantly mindful of Plurk Karma, you’ll want to keep the above items on your mind at all times.

My Opinion on the Karma ALGO
Now, real quick, I would like to say that I think the ALGO is good for new Plurkers, but I think it stinks for more entrenched Plurkers. I think one of the advantages of reaching a certain level of Karma should be a new karma ALGO.

I mean, why should I be penalized if I need to take a day off, when I’ve been Plurking every day for a week straight? Why should I fear asking someone to be a friend? Why can’t I Plurk more than 30 times if I want to? Have I not, as a regular and loyal Plurker, proven myself to not be a spammer?

That’s my two. Do you have anything to add?