After months of toiling in obscurity, responding to friends' inquiries about what I do with, "You'll see," I'm proud to say that the company I've been working for has launched Plinky.
My brother Jason founded the startup last year. It's been really interesting to see the idea come to light at first from a spectator's standpoint, and then join the team responsible for building it halfway through the process.
When I joined, I already had a pretty good idea of what Jason was trying to achieve, and had some thoughts of my own about what Plinky could do for people. Jason was trying to solve the "white space" problem of opening up a blank blog entry field and not knowing what to type. He saw value in providing people not only inspiration for what to write, but rich media enhancements to make resulting posts look interesting (maps for a question about location, album art for questions about songs, etc.)
As a writer, I loved the idea of giving people this kind of helpful shove. I was hired as Plinky's community manager, and I'm also the writer/editor of the prompts that are the backbone of the service. It hasn't been an easy task, but I've tried to write prompts that will inspire people to either tell a story about something they've experienced or reveal a bit about their personality through sharing their preferences for songs, travel spots, posse members and a lot more that's yet to come.
When I started blogging more than eight years ago, not everyone knew what a blog was, and there were few forms of social media through which one could express themselves online. For the first few years I blogged, people were often surprised to learn I had my own website. Due to Jason's high profile, I was a quasi-pseudo-hemi-celebrity online and felt somehow obligated to continue posting regularly.
Fast forward just a few years to the Facebook/Twitter age, where many more people have established an online presence and post frequent (if brief) updates about themselves to various services. When Twitter came along in 2006, I had already shifted to a style of writing on my blog where I wrote very brief posts, partly for stylistic reasons and partly because I was lazy. Once I started using Twitter more regularly, I had almost no reason to post to my blog any longer, but found myself missing it.
With Plinky, I now have a reason to write something a little longer, a little more interesting, and often more revealing about myself than my often-goofy toots. (You can see my Plinky profile here, and I'll probably post updates through to this blog once in a while.)
I hope you try out Plinky (or already have) and let us know if you have any feedback. As community manager, I see it as my job to keep my eyes and ears on the users (and even potential users) of Plinky and stay engaged in conversations with them about what they like, what they don't, what they want to see, and anything else they want to talk to us about.