May 11, 2012

What is Zurker? Plus, an invitation!

What is Zurker? The name itself nods a dig to the creators' arch nemesis, Mark Zuckerberg. And they don't stop there!  Designed and developed by the Winklevoss Twins (yes, that's proper) Zucker gives every member something called vShares, which is essentially ownership in the company.

Want to join yet?  Click here:

Members don't just own their data, they own their network. Every Zurker user can easily become a future shareholder of Zucker - just by means of referrals. It's true, you know, that many of these member sites want you to refer your friends -  but what do you get out of it? Nothing. The venture capitalists, who are already billionaires, are capitalizing on the growth of their social website - while you do all the work!

Zurker Doesn't "LIKE" - it "ZURKS"
The Winklevoss twins heard the complaints from Facebook users and completely changed the game. Why is there ONLY a "like" button on Facebook? What does that accomplish? Sure, I'll "like" the picture of your puppy - but what if you post some sad news and I want to acknowledge that I read it and am *thinking* of you?  Well, Zurker has zurks.  To Zurk means to appreciate the fact that the member shared the information. It means to support the intent behind the act of sharing, and it can mean to like, to love, to commiserate, to respect, to admire - as appropriate.

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Taken directly from their website, here is the rundown of information ABOUT Zurks:

Connects and Subscriptions

This may throw a few people, so pay attention. To connect with someone is to establish a two-way connection, sort of like becoming friends on Facebook. One member initiates the connect, the other accepts it or rejects it.
But what if you are Johnny Depp, and millions of people want to connect with you? You'd be getting thousands of connects every day. Not a problem - if you get more connects than you can comfortably handle, you can restrict your connects. Only those with the required information (such as your mobile phone number, or the name of your pet) will be able to connect with you.
It's still possible to keep up with celebrities, though, by subscribing. A subscription is a one-way follow like you have on Twitter or GooglePlus. The difference - and this is a very crucial difference - is that members are not notified when someone subscribes. This is to discourage indiscriminate subscriptions aimed solely at generating reciprocal subscriptions, also known as SPAM.

Nickname Aliases

This is a cool little feature unique to Zurker. If you've known your baby brother as "Spikey" all his life, then you can set a nickname so that he appears to you as "Spikey" whether he sets his display name as his real full name or some other nickname. The nickname is for your convenience only and is seen by no-one, not even Spikey himself.
The names of members in your contacts with nicknames you've set appear in italics.

Street and Home

At Zurker we classify all incoming news as either Street or Home. Under Home goes news that affects you directly, such as someone commented on your photo, initiated a convo with you, zurked your update, replied to your comment, and so on.
On the Street, meanwhile, you will find out what's been happening with your contacts or subscriptions. If someone posts an update or uploads a photo, you'll see it on Street.
To get to your Streeme (Street + Home) from anywhere on Zurker, simply click on the Zurker logo.
The Zurker development team has developed fairly sophisticatedagglutination technology to ensure that you don't get overwhelmed by specific users or items. All events under Street are agglutinated, and many are agglutinated under Home too. Note to our dear friends at Palo Alto and Mountain View - we have patents pending for all this so drop us a line before copying it.

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Tags are Zurker's powerful way of ensuring that you stay in control. When you connect with a member, you tag him/her with a tag of your choice. For example, a classmate might be tagged as "school." Someone at work might be tagged as "office." An annoying relative whom you dislike but have no choice of staying in touch with might be tagged as "moron." The tags you apply to people are seen only by you and never by anyone else (unless you let them login to your account).
When you post an update, you can specify your audience by checking the tags. This determines who will receive news about the update. For example, if you are posting about a bake sale, you might check the tags "school" and "scouts". If you are posting about a rumor of the impending demise of Globodyne Corporation, you might want to check the tag "office."
Similarly, you can quickly and easily check or uncheck tags when on the Street, to filter what you see. Uncheck "morons" and you won't get any news from people whom you tagged as "morons." Uncheck everything except "family" and you'll find out only what's happening with your blood relatives only.
For some screenshots and more details, view our page on tags.

Updates, Finds and Photos

If you write something, whether just three words ("Me so horny") or a 5,000-word essay, we call it an "update."
Finds are links from the web, such as websites, pictures, videos, news stories, blog entries, and so on. If your post is specifically to share a link, then use Find instead of Update.
Photos are... photos. You can keep them in albums. You can specify the audience and the visibility (who gets notified about it and who sees it) for each individual photo, or you can let the default album settings take effect. Other members can zurk or comment on your posts, photos, and finds.

Profile Notes

Members may leave each other notes on their profiles. While the note is directed specifically at that member, others can see it and join in the conversation (unless restricted by the profile owner). Leaving a note is the perfect way to congratulate a colleague who just got a promotion, to wish a member luck for a trip, or even to welcome a new member to Zurker. Profile notes are more open than Convos (private messages), and more specific than Updates.


Comments are super important, and a critical mode of communication on Zurker. If your contacts leave a note, post an update, share a find, or upload a photo, you can zurk and/or you can add a comment.
Comments can zurked, and are nested up to 12 levels deep, so be sure to hit 'reply' when replying to someone's comment. That ensures your reply gets into the Home stream of the person whose comment you are replying to.


Convos (i.e. conversations) are Zurker's equivalent of private messaging or email. You can start a convo with just one other member or several. Only those involved in the convo will know about it. You can attach files to your convo, and more features are coming.

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Entities are what our friends at Palo Alto call "pages". These are profiles for companies, organizations, bands, movements, and so on. Entities can post items such as photos just like regular members, and members can subscribe to entities just as they do to other members.
Note that there is no limit to the number of entities you can set up, but they are not free. If you want to set up an entity for your business, it will cost you a small fee (about $1). The entities feature is not quite ready yet but we will be releasing as soon as possible.


vShares make the world go round. vShares are stakes of ownership in Zurker. You can actually own a slice of the company that runs Zurker.
vShares are so important that we have a separate page devoted only to vShares.

Open Books

Zurker is unique in that we practice open-book accounting, called Open Books. Every cent we receive and spend is recorded in full public view. It may seem inconceivable to some to run a business without any secrets. We believe that in the near future, it will be inconceivable to run a business with anything less than full transparency.