This is a guest post from Samir Balwani of Internet Marketing blog Left the Box.com.
It feels like every day there’s a new post about Plurk, Twitter, or some new micro-blogging platform. They’re always heralded as the next big social media hit, the best on the web, or something killer.
The truth is, they’re not.
Most of these platforms are too young to be killing anything, and are generally unfinished. Twitter has major problems with uptimes, Plurk is missing some major features, and Brightkite is having issues with Verizon.
My biggest problem with all these platforms is that they’re based on the same general idea, to update people on your location, latest thoughts, or what you’re doing. But they all shy away from implementing features that worked, from other services.
That’s why I’m announcing Plutter Kite, the official roadmap for the best micro-blogging platform. Here’s a feature’s list, broken down by features that each service already contains:
Karma – an awesome feature that keeps people engaged, and gives users a goal. It’s something to work towards, and opens up other options.
Intuitive Timeline – the timeline is great because it offers you a way to visualize thoughts and Plurks as they show up on your screen.
Threaded Comments – one of the largest feature missing out on Twitter was the ability to actually respond to someone. Plurk introduced a comment system which helps create a conversational feel.
Embedded Pictures and Videos – lets you see media instead of just a link. Although a purely aesthetic feature, it helps the feel of the timeline.
Cliques – the cliques feature on Plurk is really disappointing and leaves a lot to be asked for. But it’s a step in the right direction.
Multiple Timelines – right now Plurk allows you to see your own Plurks, and private Plurks. If they expanded this to include clique Plurks, Plurks with keywords, or other dynamic timelines, it would be perfect. For now, much like cliques, it’s a step in the right direction.
API – an open API is so important. Twitter went about this in the right way and it’s opened up a host of new applications, tools, and scripts.
Instant Messenger – a lot of people like to have their messages sent instantaneously, and dislike waiting for the API to refresh. Twitter was able to cater to these people (myself included) by introducing Twitter IM. It’s an absolutely important tool, and it brought an immersion into the site even when I wasn’t on it.
Direct Message – although Plurk does allow for Private Messages, they can be often overlooked when the timeline gets crowded, and there’s no feature letting you know that you received a Private Message. Twitter’s Direct Message, on the other hand, is great. It lets you know when
you receive a message, and can also Email or IM you.
Favorite – making things easily accessible is one of the
tenants of the Internet. So marking a conversation or message, to be found
easily later, should be one of the first features implemented.
Email and SMS – mobile web is definitely the wave of the future. Making sure your site is not only accessible on mobile phones but can interact with them is extremely important. People don’t like to be disconnected. Make it so they don’t have to be.
Picture Messaging – people love picture messaging and they love sharing it with others. The ease of uploading an image to your timeline on Brightkite makes this a must have feature.
Map Check-in – the google maps mash-up that Brightkite implemented is great. It lets you visualize where people are, as well as know what they’re doing via notes.
So there you go. Want to really be the best micro-blogging service? Be the first to have all of these features, or just take over companies that already have them and make Plutter Kite.