Plinky is a new microblogging service designed for people who have trouble thinking about what to blog. It helps you find and create interesting information to share and discuss. It lets you do things like create and share locations on Google maps, share songs that include album art that Plinky grabs from Amazon, share images from around the web, and more.
But Plinky’s not just about sharing and discussing your activities from around the web, like FriendFeed, nor is it just about short posts and shared links, like Tumblr. It’s a content creation tool that can be paired with these other services. The company lets you easily republish your Plinky creations to blogs, your Twitter account, and elsewhere. It also has a few features for spurring conversation and community. A daily “prompt” poses a question or statement and asks every Plinky user to reply with their own content. Today’s is “name three songs.”
The design is structured not unlike Twitter, in that you have a personal page with a feed of posts by you and a way to see the posts of people you decide to follow or who follow you.
Jason Shellen, who founded the Lafayette, Calif.-based company, was formerly an engineer at blog platform Blogger and then product manager at Google. He says he started Plinky to help fight blogger’s block. “After years of blogging, it turns out I’m that person,” he tells me. He says his small team has spent most of its time working on its application programming interface “wrapper” — technology that lets it easily grab information from other sites and plug it into Plinky. So look for more information-prompting features to appear shortly.
Plinky’s team also includes Simeon Simeonov, formerly the chief architect of Macromedia and a partner at Polaris Ventures. He helped lead Plinky’s $1.5 million first round of funding last year. The company also includes Ryan Freitas, formerly director of experience design at Adaptive Path.