I was writing to an orkut friend about orkut just now and figured I'd share some of my latest (as in five minutes ago) thoughts:
As far as social networks go, Orkut feels different. Maybe it's not a "social" network at all. I think that remains to be seen. I think it might be bigger than that. The social software people will tell me that social software and networks in fact are bigger than social networks, but they'll use different words to say that so that it makes sense. Orkut off the google toolbar could be something different.
As a casual observer (as in, someone who's been in a couple of days) Orkut seems different from the other social/networking homes I've signed onto (LinkedIn was one--what was the other??) for lots of reasons. First, the flow of who's coming on and through whom and with what bits of wit is fascinating. The velocity is something else. Every time someone pops up in my inbox, I'm saying, "Of course! Cool! I'm so glad he/she's here!"
It's the fun of not knowing what's going to happen next. Speaking for me and my homies, we haven't had that feeling around here for a long, long time. And that was part of the reason we started playing the blog game, so we've been craving something new.
I should be sleeping, and I'm writing about Orkut. That should tell you something.
Next thought: Orkut is not going to be a 20-something white kid's dating service; in fact I think easy job number one is to change the photo on the login page!
I sense a micro-interest based connection thing of cool people whose faces I'm happy to see in a place that feels open and uncrowded by complicated features--and that's enough for now.
For later I'd like collaboration areas (server space) for the communities--maybe business communities, music communities, whatever--have an e-room type setup where we can do more than talk and look at each other's mugs--but really
create something here in little bundles of communities.
I know that gets sticky with who owns what and why and how--but should it? Why not be able to have breakout groups of keen minds and virtutal white boards and folders, and *why not* reinvent the century?
Is anyone really happy with how it's going so far?
On the other hand, we can all just look at Joi hanging from an airplane. That's an option too.
Either way, it sounds like fun, so count me in.