June 28th, 2008

Trouble Falling Off The Grid

We're going on a short vacation.

In the past, I've relished these vacations as an opportunity to fall off the grid. The worst that would happen would be that Google Reader would queue up too may unread articles. I don't mind simply marking all those as read and starting fresh. (Except for important feeds like XKDC and Penny Arcade, of course.)

Live Journal would queue up a few pages' worth of new content, but I could usually wade my way through that when I returned. I keep my friends list pretty tight.

This year is different. Quite a few of you are on plurk, and that's the stickiest site I've ever seen. I never thought plurk's silly little points system, "karma," would draw me in, but it did. I kept lusting after new cute plurk monsters (displayed in the top right corner) that cost more karma than I had.

Bouncing from conversation to conversation in plurk is like flitting between conversations at a party. And if you've hand-selected all your friends at that party, then most of these conversations are going to draw you in anyway.  You never want to leave!

Something I hate about plurk? You get penalized for not posting (plurking). If you've been on the system long enough, the penalty for not plurking is greater than the reward for plurking. The positive motivation is great, but this penalty? Makes me consider giving up the service, because I just don't need that tension in my life. I don't like it.

So, do I fall off the grid during this vacation? I'd like to fall off. I'd also like to stay in touch with my online friends. I don't know what I'll do.

My plurk karma trends will reveal all, once this vacation is over. (Plurkers: Isn't that a cool tool?  If you follow karma_trends, too, then you can graph your karma against others!)