And the award for Best Use of Plurk goes to...

And the award for Best Use of Plurk goes to…

Reasons I love Plurk, told in a different way. Like many things on the web, microblogging is a popularity contest, but it’s not just what these personalities say. It’s how they use the medium. Add these model citizens, okay?

The Runners-up

Comic haven from velociraptors: XKCD (@xkcd)

XKCD avatar

One of the greatest, geekiest web comics of all time, XKCD‘s syndication on Plurk feels like a match made in heaven and not just a Ping.fm post that reeks of afterthought.

Each comic strip is a click and an inline popup away. Then the “mouseover-text” you find on the website appears as the first reply in the thread, and followers can comment away. XKCD also cares about its new fans, so it also posts old strips aside from the new ones.

See also: The Fail Blog (@failblog) and I Can Has Cheezburger (@ICanHasCheezburger)

Philippine literature 2.0: Jose Rizal (@laonglaan )

Jose Rizal avatar

Unfortunately somebody snapped up @joserizal already, but what a great way to bring pen names into the 21st century.

More importantly, what a modern way to preserve and propagate the works of our national hero—which in all likelihood will never get read again outside of required readings in high school and college.

Bob Ong avatar

Bob Ong (@BobOng) also deserves props since he’s influential in his own right: although I’m told the owner of the account is just a fan, not the already enigmatic author, the reply counts on his posts are off the charts. Taking advantage of online anonymity plus his own take on Pinoy experiences, particularly humorous ones, is refreshing to experience in a place like Plurk.

See also: William Shakespeare (@ WilliamShakespeare)

Satire at its best: George W. Bush (@GeorgeWBush)

George W. Bush avatar

He may be out of the White House and is no longer that active as a plurker, but George W. Bush has the probably the best quips in the timeline. And they’re always in context, since they contain links to the news he refers to.

Don’t disappear, because I’ll miss you dearly, GeorgieBoy!

Winner: Paulo Coelho (@PauloCoelho)

Paulo Coelho avatar

Paulo Coelho (of The Alchemist, Veronika Decides to Die, The Witch of Portobello) is a staggeringly industrious writer who’s built an online presence every which way. He blogs, vlogs, tweets, plurks, and more.

He’s got the social media thing down pat, not because he wants to make money but because he wants to engage with his audience. If he’s not discussing developments on his latest book or sharing both funny and inspiring tidbits, he invites his readers to sound off.

Note: Paulo Coelho seems to be the only real person in here.

Special mentions: @phPlurk and @whengmaresigns

I just want to mention phPlurk and thank the people behind it for their generous efforts. An SMS gateway is much more accessible than loading Plurk mobile through 3G or Wi-Fi, and that’s something only Filipinos who actually use Plurk—neither the Western startups nor the big mobile phone networks—would understand. Plurk (and Twitter) are bridging the gap between the Internet and mobile communication, but keep in mind that executing a webapp idea varies across continents too.

And some shameless plugging: When GMA Resigns displays plurk replies in a random fashion and makes for a fun single-serving site. More on it here.

So, who’s up for a local microblogging conference?

Postscript: A rant about Twitter Politicians

Remember the 2007 Philippine local and legislative elections going online? We’re less than a year away from electing a new president, and online campaigning has gotten worse.

I wasn’t going to mention Twitter here but this is to show the other side of the coin, i.e., how to not get it. I’d like to give the Worst Use of Twitter award to Jejomar Binay and even more so, Corazon Aquino. Update (05/10/09): Scratch that, Corazon Aquino’s Twitter account looks thoroughly trashed now—by a French DJ. That is, whoever’s fronting for them, abusing their names, and proclaiming how all this “new media” / “social media” crap will get them sworn into office just like Obama. Philippine campaign season always been about the theatrics instead of the platforms, after all. We just got an upgrade.

But there’s no room for trapo techniques in a medium as simple and transparent as microblogging. So I’ll grab some popcorn then watch them crash and burn in excruciatingly slow motion, as though they haven’t already.

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