February 01, 2004

Orkut Observations

Spending way too much time in Orkut. Might as well start jotting down observations.

  • Favorite testimonial seen so far: "GREAT ORKUTSTER. VERY FAST WITH FRIENDING. WOULD FRIEND AGAIN. AAAAA+++++++++!!!!!" (Jason Gullege praising Andy Baio). And in second place, this testimonial from Nick, praising a user named... Gollum: "EXCELLENT SELLER. SWORE ON THE PRECIOUS, PROMPT DELIVERY. A++ 15/7!!!!!"

  • Too Much Information: I really don't like how Orkut shows so much personal information about someone. Since I'm only participating in friend and business networking mode (I'm married and ain't lookin' for dates), I don't really care to see who's single, who's married, who's committed, who's in an "open marriage", etc. I wish I could simply hide that stuff. I also don't see why I need to know about their politics, or their fashion, their ethnicity, or political view, or sexual orientation if I'm only joining a community because I happen to like Patrick O'Brian novels, or English Bull Terriers, or Apple Macintoshes, or Coldplay. Why do I need to know this other stuff? It might take a long time in real life to learn all those things about someone. Maybe there's a reason it works that way.

  • Safari doesn't work right: Safari doesn't process the Javascript correctly on some pages of Orkut, including the page where you can "rate" people and indicate you're a "fan".

  • Fast growth: At 5pm PST on Jan 29th, when I did a search for all members I saw it go from 14,998 to 15,000 in the span of a refresh. I just did a search for all at 9:55am PST on Feb 1st, and I see 22,781. Oh wait, make that 22,785. About one per second now.

  • Spam: Got my first commercial spam today through Orkut: a message from someone named Moses Ma, "testing whether this system works as an outreach/marketing system. Please, as a personal favor, relay this to everyone in your network".... and then what followed was an announcement for some conference ("absolute first class") with senior executives (wow! and they've all agreed to speak!), and there's even a "million dollar golf tournament so you can connect more deeply with your business partners". Ugh. Somebody ought to go to Orkut Jail for that one...

  • Things I Learned About That I Probably Never Would Have Otherwise: For starters, that there actually exists something called Lebowskifest. They go bowling. Think of it like a Burning Man that The Dude would go to.

  • Wesley Clark's in Orkut. Or someone who claims he's him, but it looks legit. I have been expecting Dean to show up any minute. Looks like Clark beat him to it. Can Kerry be far behind?

I'm going to keep updating this topic from time to time and let the observations pile up.

Posted by brian at February 1, 2004 09:25 AM

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