Friday, August 15, 2008

Why I joined Orkut - why did I join Orkut?

In brief, why not?

I do a lot of my web surfing on my mobile phone, so I often end up on Google's mobile website. One of the services that you can access is Orkut, so one day I figured, "Hey, I'm a Google member, perhaps I should see what that Orkut thing is." However, I couldn't access it from my mobile phone.

Then yesterday, I was YouTube surfing on my laptop, and I noticed that videos could be shared via Orkut. So I figured I'd join Orkut to try it out.

So I joined Orkut - here's my profile - and I still don't really know what it is. I shared a video, and I typed a status message when I was at Disneyland, and...well, that's all I've done so far.

The About page doesn't really help.

orkut is an online community designed to make your social life more active and stimulating.

Oh, so it's like a cool Starbucks.

orkut's social network can help you maintain existing relationships with pictures and messages, and establish new ones by reaching out to people you've never met before.

I guess that's worth something.

Then I looked at the demographics. Over 60% of the people are over 18 (or say they are) but under 26, and over half of the people are from Brazil. This sounds good if I want to chat up a hot young Brazilian woman, but inasmuch as the only Brazilian Portuguese word that I know is "obrigado," even that isn't necessarily going to work out.

Google did identify four other hot young Brazilian women from my network who are Orkut members, so I sent friend requests to a hot young pink boa-wearing Brazilian woman, a hot young ex-Microsoft videographer Brazilian woman, a hot young Brazilian woman who works at a Huntsville TV station, and a hot young Brazilian woman whose last name happens to rhyme with "Logan." However, despite the rich feature set that Orkut appears to provide, I somehow suspect that they don't visit their Orkut accounts all that much, so I'm not holding my breath, waiting for their friend acceptances (or rejections).

Just to indicate hot infrequently these people are using Orkut, let's look at the profile of the hot young ex-Microsoft videographer Brazilian woman. This person has only 7 friends on Orkut.

Not 7,000; 7.

And the other 3 people have fewer if any friends.

Ooh, I just noticed that Orkut gave me a fortune!

Today's fortune: You have an important new business development shaping up

Now that's worth something. Do you know how hard it is to get a fortune in Twitter?

OK, I'll confess that even if I were a Brazilian, I'd be outside of Orkut's demographic. But there are groups who cater to the demographic:

Welcome to Orkut Style, we provide cool graphics and tools to use on Scraps on Orkut. We have 1000's of images which are completely free to use on yours or others profile.

Well, I'll explore it. I'd say that I'm gonna add some groovy graphics to my website, but I don't think any 18-25ers say "groovy" any more.

P.S. When I tried to paste in a lava lamp scrap, I guess it was a little too groovy. It didn't work, and the help told me why:

If your scrap containing a Flash embed isn't appearing, the site you're trying to insert content from is blocked by orkut. You'll see the error message: This rich-content scrap wasn't posted.

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