Plurk Firefox Sidebar

June 5th, 2008 by

While searching to see what people were saying about Plurk last night I discovered an early addon for Firefox to make the UI of Plurk a little bit easier to follow. The Plurk Firefox Sidebar puts the Plurk timeline into a vertical text format similar to that seen on Twitter. Upon first introduction to the addon I was thoroughly impressed, however this morning I was introduced to the plurk/m page. A mobile format of the Plurk timeline. The Plurk Firefox Sidebar is simply a compressed version of this page displayed in a Firefox sidebar. Disappointment aside I decided I would outline the pros and cons I have found with both the mobile timeline and the Plurk Firefox Sidebar.

Pros:

  • The Plurk Firefox Sidebar conveniently puts Plurk and all your updates in a sidebar in Firefox allowing you to easily navigate the web while still seeing what is going on in the world of Plurk.
  • Updates are much easier to follow in the vertical timeline and don’t require tons of clicks to see what is going on with your fellow plurkers.
  • After a day of hampered productivity yesterday, this tiny addon at least cuts back on some of the clicking tediousness in the regular UI.

Cons:

  • Rather than being a standalone app the Plurk Firefox Sidebar is nothing more than the Plurk mobile page compressed; meaning that it is limited to the features available on that page.
  • Because the timeline in the mobile page does not seem to automatically refresh you are forced to click on ‘my profile’ to get the latest series of plurks and responses.
  • The time in the plurk/m page does not follow the time based on your local area and runs on a 24 hour clock. At 8:44 this morning the mobile timeline read 15:44.
  • It’s ugly…One of the most appealing things about Plurk is the visually appealing UI. Since it is the mobile based interface you lose that beauty.
  • Because the Plurk Firefox Sidebar is nothing more than a compressed page any links you click on open within that small sidebar, and right click does not work anywhere within this page preventing you from opening links in a new tab, new window, or anywhere else for that matter. You have to copy and past the link into Firefox to properly view the link.

Clearly we are still in dire need of an addon or app that provides a similar functionality to things like Twitterfox and Twhirl, which have shined so brightly with Twitter users. Without them I feel that Plurk is going to lose a lot of it’s users solely based on the fact that they don’t have enough hours in the day to keep up with the busy timeline.

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