Orkut: What Is the Point?

by brian d foy

Related link: http://www.orkut.com

A friend recently invited me to join Orkut. I cannot give you the URL because he did not give it to me, at least not yet. Someone has to invite you to join. Okay, the URL is http://www.orkut.com/, so it is not as secret as The Order of the Skull and Bones, and probably not as nefarious.

The list of people I already know who have joined this service seems to include everyone who has been to an O'Reilly Conference, including Tim O'Reilly, who was specifically mentioned to me.

My first question was "What do I get out of this?". My second question was "What do you get out of this by inviting me?". I figure this is another geeky way to try to get the high score by having more friends than other people.

Another acquaintance said "It is like high school, but run by the nerds."

Or "It is like Match.com for geeks", which I really thought was what OSDN Personals (a branded Match.com) was. But if this is a networking tool, it cannot be like much like Match.com because the whole point of that site is to meet someone then stop using the service (although some people probably keep meeting people on the sly).

Jeremy Zawondy says it has something to do with user tracking.

I think it is just another way to spend quality time with your keyboard. If you want to play around with it, you have to find somebody who is already a member to invite you, and that is not me, at least not yet. Resistance may be futile.

Do you belong to Orkut?


2004-02-01 08:24:45
I didn't invite you
You never got an invite from me, brian, because I intuited that it wasn't your cup of tea. Thanks for writing your post to confirm it. :-)
2004-02-01 20:38:39
One thing that could be interesting ...
I have to agree that I don't really get it, though I've been playing with it since Andy invited me, just to see what the fuss is about.

The communities part seems rather redundant, since for every community I've joined, there are better sites/forums/mailing lists for discussion and getting info.

The messages part doesn't interest me, I can already email everyone I know!

However, the one thing I think might turn out to interesting would be if I can get people I know from different parts of my life on there, and then see if there are any interesting paths between them that _don't_ include me. For example, if someone I know from the Perl/YAPC/OSCON world knew one of my friends from animal rights activism, or a friend I met at a job, etc., then that would be interesting to find out.

But it certainly doesn't seem like a generally fascinating area to me.

2004-02-02 05:23:04
orkut members on slashdot...
were selling invites via paypal. going rate was $2.

Its a sick sad world when you have to buy friends - and when the price of friendship is so low ;)

2004-02-02 08:40:19
One thing that could be interesting ...
Yeah, it's always interesting to see how your friends know each other, when you didn't know how they were connected. Orkut's this weeks new way to do that.

Right now, keeping in touch with people you already know seems to be orkut's killer app. There's got to be more potential than that, though. I'm interested in seeing where this thing goes, but I don't have any expectations.

2004-02-02 20:32:55
I didn't invite you
I've not joined orkut specifically because I can't answer the first question: what do I get out of it? Or, I can answer it, but am unimpressed with the answer.

Also, exclusive clubs give me a rash. When I was excluded in high school, it made me realize exclusivity was dumb; it didn't make me wish to exclude others.


2004-02-03 03:04:27
orkut members on slashdot...
it's indeed sad if people ask money for others to be their friend (and even sadder that people seem willing to pay to be someone elses' friend), but prostitutes have made a good living that way for millenia.
But is it so bad that friendship is cheap? Shouldn't all people be friends (I know it's an imperfect world but we can dream, can't we)? :)
2004-02-03 14:28:18
Like the early days of the Internet
Orkut rocks because it keeps out the plague of everyday Internet users whose pestulence limits the value of open services like USENET, the intarweb, and Friendster.

Friend-spam renders a good social network useless. Orkut contains all the people I really need to talk to and few of those I don't need to hear from.