Andre Torrez and his wife Amber went out on their own to form a company called Simpleform and, as of last Friday, are now allowing anyone to sign up for their first product, called MLKSHK. (MLKSHK’s disemvoweled name referencing of course to (what was originally) “…an alcoholic whiskey drink that has been described as a ‘sturdy, healthful eggnog type of drink, with eggs, whiskey, etc., served as a tonic as well as a treat,’” [Wikipedia]. (Old-Fashioned MLKSHK)
On MLKSHK, you share pictures and embedded video with others via conversations similar to the way Twitter works, connecting and communicating with friends and so forth, but with more breathing room. There is the ability to add long descriptions and even engage in conversations about the important topics of the day via comments, aggregated onto a single conversations page for ease of use, in something reminiscent to what was best about blogging. (Strawberry MLKSHK.)
Comparasons to Tumblr are obvious, but it just seems to do the core of what Tumblr does right better. I’ve never really enjoyed Tumblr, and personalization is a boring and unfun feature, among other things. (I’ll spare you my Tumblr rant.)
What sets MLKSHK apart from everything else though is that MLSKHK is apparently designed to be self-sustaining. It costs money. Right now. As a subscription product.
Of course MLKSHK free for those who just want to play. If you subscribe, you are granted access to things like turning on RSS feeds (although the joy in the site is using it itself – which behaves nearly like an RSS reader) as well as the ability to form additional shakes (topical groups that you can invite others to help with, such as this one I made). You are essentially asked pay only if and when you want to get more out of it. (Vanilla MLKSHK.)
But make no mistake, it is a toy. It is supposed to be fun. The cheerfulness of the design, literally inhabited with a variety of cartoon-like characters, are there to remind us of this. And it is indeed fun. (Chocolate MLKSHK.)
It makes you realize that was lost with Twitter’s new design was a lot of the fun. Look at how serious Twitter is taking itself now:
… as opposed to old Twitter:
That’s OK though. Twitter is basically like work now anyway. Hell people are actually paid to Tweet. Let Twitter be work if that’s what it wants to be. (Or save the world, to its credit. )
Twitter is work. Blogs are work. Your RSS reader is work.
…an alcoholic whiskey drink that has been described as a ‘sturdy, healthful eggnog type of drink, with eggs, whiskey, etc., served as a tonic as well as a treat’
TL;DR: MLKSHK is the most fun thing on the internet since old Twitter.
Addendum: The other 5 fun things on the internet ranked from most to least fun:
1. Old Twitter
PS I am of course negatendo on MLKSHK.