Mork Calling Orkut

February 3, 2004

I’ve been playing around with orkut for about a week now (thanks Pete )and I have a couple of thoughts about the systems. Now I’m gonna comment about the back-end, mainly because I’m not a back-end geek. It’s running ASP and if that works for this system, then fine.

I think someone else mentioned this (maybe Bill Turner or Cory Doctorow), but I hate that you have to first become a “friend” to say that you’re a fan. I invited a couple of people whom I consider online “friends” and one person who is a friend in the real world. But there are many of you out there, that I’m a huge fan of and I hate that there is no grey area. You’re either a friend or you’re nothing, according to Orkut.

I played around with Friendster for about 20 minutes and really hated the site. Just didn’t mesh with me personally. I do like Orkut, but some of the groups are boring. Reminds me of AOL chat rooms, circa 1994/95. But we’re all getting to know each other, so this would almost be expected.

I signed up for a lot of groups, but in the coming days I’m gonna pair those down to around 3 groups. The Drummers group has kinda taken off. We’re a small bunch, but the messages are coming in a couple of times per day. The local Chattanooga group, for lack of a better work, sucks. Nothing going on, but then again it’s Chattanooga….not exactly the hotbed of technobabble.

It’s a neat toy to play around with, but I still don’t see the “revolution” coming from social software. The various sites still look like a cross between a dating board and a message board, and they’re nothing revolutionary. Yahoo Groups, MSN Groups, and the now dead Lycos Community pioneered this years ago. How are Friendster and Orkut different?