Didya Know? Plinky-Inspired Posts Showcased on WordPress!

If you are a WordPress.com user making the most of Plinky prompts, be sure to check the Plinky page that showcases the best and brightest answers. The top two “Featured Posts” are hand-picked by WordPress staff, and the other posts shown below are in chronological order of when they were published on WordPress.

Note: To make sure your post shows up on this page, tag your blog posts with “Plinky” after you have pushed your post to WordPress. Here’s more on how to connect your Plinky and WordPress accounts.

Wondering how to get featured? Bottom line: You increase your chances of being featured when you craft a thoughtful, in-depth response. Technically, the post must have at least one image, be longer than one paragraph, and be free (or nearly free) of grammatical errors.

Posted in Plinky | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

User-Suggested Prompts We Used This Week

We love it when Plinky users submit their suggested prompts! Click here to send us yours.

This week, we used the following suggested prompts:

What part of life confuses you the most? From user ryan mega

What book could you read over and over? From user Georgia McMillan

Posted in Plinky, User-Suggested Prompts | Leave a comment

Plinky Adds ‘Weekend Writing Challenges’

For those of you with an interest in fiction and/or creative writing, Plinky is adding new weekend writing challenges that will go beyond the typical prompt and ask you to dig deep into your imagination.

For example, this weekend we’ll be publishing prompts on Saturday and Sunday that focus on writing in the third-person, meaning you’ll be asked take a scenario from your life (or one that you make up) and tweak it so that the perspective is not yours but from an imaginary “he,” “she,” or even “they.”

If you’d like to see an example of writing in the third-person, we recommend this flash-fiction story, Arnold’s Blazer, from Writing on Broken Glass, a blog for creative writing students at Edinburgh Napier University.

And that’s just the start. Future weekend writing challenges will explore everything from dialogue to setting. We hope you enjoy this new challenge and we look forward to seeing what you create!

Posted in Plinky, weekend writing challenges | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

WordPress Users: How to Turn Plinky Prompts Into Blog Posts

Did you know: If you’ve got a blog on WordPress.com and use Plinky, you can easily streamline your Plinky account so that all your answers can easily be turned into blog posts?

Here’s instructions on how to connect your Plinky and WordPress.com accounts. Be sure to take the final step of tagging your post with the word “Plinky.”

And why should you follow these steps?

First, your new Plinky-inspired post will show up on our purty lil’ Plinky tag page on WordPress: http://en.wordpress.com/tag/plinky/

Second, we sometimes feature our favorite Plinky posts on the homepage of WordPress.com — an amazing way to get tons of traffic to your blog! For example, today we put this post on the homepage:

Ex-Milk Drinker Awaiting the Chance to Relapse

So, get cracking, and we’ll be looking for your best Plinky-inspired posts on WordPress!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

User-Suggested Prompts We Used This Week

We love it when Plinky users submit their suggested prompts! Click here to send us yours.

This week, we used the following suggested prompts:

User Livibetter: When was the last time you thanked someone?

User Romeigh: What’s your favorite mistake?

User Mycavedweller: If you had unlimited resources what would you create?

Posted in User-Suggested Prompts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Plinky Joins Automattic

Automattic is happy to announce that we’ve added Plinky.com to our family of services.

Each weekday, Plinky provides a prompt — like a question or a challenge — and you type in an answer. To keep it interesting, prompts are a mixed bag of fun commands (“Write a haiku about the last meal you ate”) to more thoughtful questions (“What is your favorite summer memory?”)

For more information on Plinky and how to use it on your WordPress blog, see: Overcome Writer’s Block With Plinky.

Posted in Plinky | 6 Comments

An important announcement

For the last few months, Thing Labs (formerly Plinky, Inc.) has been focused on development of Brizzly, and we couldn’t be happier with how things are going. As such, we’ve been able to spend very little time on our first product, Plinky. We’ve made the difficult decision to stop publishing new prompts altogether.

The last new prompt was published today, Tues., April 6. We’re not yet shutting down the site, so you can still answer any of the 400+ prompts we’ve published to date, or read other Plinky users’ answers.

Whether you’ve answered all of our prompts, just one, or simply checked out other people’s answers, we want to thank you for visiting and supporting Plinky. We put a lot of work into it, and we think it’s a great site. At the same time, we feel we have much more to offer with Brizzly than we ever could have with Plinky.

If you haven’t already checked out Brizzly, our social media reader that works with Twitter and Facebook, please visit and create an account today at http://brizzly.com/signup. Also check out the Brizzly Guide, our user-edited resource for learning about current trends and news.

Posted in thinglabs | 1 Comment

Big news!

Boy, we’ve got a lot of news to share. First things first:

We’ve got a new name
While Plinky is still the name of our beloved content-encouragement site, we’ve decided to change the name of the company to Thing Labs.

We’ve got a new VP of technology
Chris Wetherell has joined us as our vice president of technology. Chris worked with Jason on Google Reader and Blogger, and adds talent, leadership and a surprising amount of singing to Thing Labs.

We moved
While we liked our surroundings in our original Lafayette, Calif. office, we like our new ones in San Francisco’s beautiful Mint Plaza even more. There’s a Blue Bottle Coffee, great restaurants, orange chairs and a whole lot more. Our office itself is much more suitable for coding, writing, discussing, creating, blasting Lil’ Wayne, and all of the other things required to make great software.

We’re working on new things
Don’t worry – Plinky the product will continue to live on, providing inspiration for you to write and share content with the world. But we’ve been bitten by more than one creative bug lately, and we’re building some fun new things that we’ll be able to share with you soonish.

Posted in Plinky, thinglabs | 15 Comments

Welcome, NYT Magazine readers

We’re delighted to be featured in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. Columnist Rob Walker, author of the book “Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are,” spoke with Jason recently and wrote up a nice piece explaining the goal and appeal of Plinky.

The only thing…technology cannot do is solve this problem: What if you don’t really have anything to express?

Ah, but technology can solve that problem for you. Plinky.com, which officially went online in January, exists specifically to offer what it calls prompts, meant to inspire interesting thoughts to share with the world.

If you’re new to the site, welcome, and be sure to page through our prompts to answer some of the fun ones Rob mentioned (and many more). You can also follow @plinky and @plinkyprompts on Twitter.

Posted in Plinky | 2 Comments

New guest contributor Josh A. Cagan

The first time I heard of Josh. A Cagan was his brilliant “Letter From Hollywood” he wrote for The Morning News during the Hollywood writers’ strike of 2007. I forgot about Josh until he joined Twitter and started dropping hilarious one-liners and eventually headline-inspired punchlines. When he opened up “Punchline Friday” as a user contest, I thought I’d participate and offered up my own entry. I won that first contest, possibly due to a lack of other entrants. Josh followed up to get my address so he could send my prize. I thought the whole thing was a joke, but sent him my address anyway.

The next week, I got a delivery addressed from “American Science & Surplus.” I opened the package (a reused McDonald’s coffee cup box) to find a box full of a random assortment of bizarre consumer goods and toys including glow-in-the-dark temporary snake and lizard tattoos, a jumbo key holder (shaped like a key, naturally), a fanny pack, and a 9-piece wood turkey decoration set. Surprise! I knew right then and there that I’d made a very special new Internet friend.

When we launched Plinky, Josh joined and started writing some of the best answers we’d seen. So it’s our pleasure to present the week of Cagan from today through Sunday, during which you’ll be delighted, challenged, repulsed, and more by Josh’s fantastic prompts. Enjoy.

Posted in Plinky | Leave a comment