While I truly respect folks for using Twitter, I just never understood the buzz. I would read people’s tweets, but could not keep them in any kind of order. And what if I wanted to read responses to my tweets? Then I discovered Plurk. Plurk just speaks to me. I add a plurk, and people can respond directly to it. I can go back a few hours later, use the notifications, and I can see new plurks and responses to existing plurks. I can go back to my plurks and read comments. And it’s all on a horizontal timeline. Definitely allows me to visualize my day and scan through plurks to find what I need. I use it both personally and professionally, allowing for many good educational relationships to be formed, having many questions answered, and many resources shared.
Imagine my surprise, when I read the following blog post from Plurk: (http://blog.plurk.com/2009/12/14/microsoft-rips-plurk/). You really do not even need to read the blog, you get the gist of the sentiment in the URL. Seems that Microsoft stole the entire codebase, including UI, from Plurk for their Asian microblogging tool Club MSN (http://club.msn.cn/). You can view the Plurk blog page to see that not only does the user interface look very familiar, but they copied it right down to the code, substituting the names of the variables for their own names. WHAT? Microsoft, the company, much in the vein of the RIAA or MPAA, that will pretty much hunt you down and throw you to the wolves for neglecting one step in their marathon registration process. The company that charges you over $100.00 (US) for highly overrated software that did not even work with their older versions (*coughOfficecough*). Now they not only used portions of another tool, but they took the ENTIRE code base. Really, I guess this does not surprise me much, but it just frustrates me so much. We in the open source movement work so hard to make sure there are free and open standards, while entities such as Microsoft push money around so they can come out with their own proprietary formats. We work tirelessly to make sure things such as Creative Commons work better than Copyright (thank you, Mr. Lessig), then to have Microsoft swoop in without any fear of retribution. Grrrrr!