Orkut — Too Much Too Soon

Just days after Google beta-released its new social networking service Orkut, I started receiving invitations to join from long-lost friends… the vast majority of them from the BeOS realm. It’s like LiveJournal all over again. Today, orkut.com turns people away — “too busy, we have much to learn, come back when we’re fully cooked…” A victim of their own success before they’ve even launched.

If Google can do for social networking and blogging what they’ve done for search, and once their web services APIs become available to developers, they’re going to become the unstoppable internet platform.

birdhouse customer John Battelle’s Searchblog chronicles the rise of “the internet platform” at google and elsewhere. His thoughts on Orkut’s launch are here.

Music: Charlie Parker :: Now’s the Time

12 Replies to “Orkut — Too Much Too Soon”

  1. I just started with inviting who was in my inbox… next time I will make a wider run and you’ll be surely in that sean :)

    This thing just rose too quickly for it’s own good. Based on Alexa they were ranked something like 550th most visited web site after just 4 days of beta.

    Oliver Thylmann

  2. no time to look at the link, but how is this different from friendster? AFAIK, friendster came and went, but was similarly ubiquitous for a time among people i had contact with.

  3. I’m not intimate with friendster, but all the social networking services are pretty similar. One big diff is that Friendster is always struggling not be bogged down by their own popularity. Google’s massive server farms should mitigate that somewhat.

  4. Hey Scot-

    Long time, no chat!

    Just wanted to point to the funny coincidence that you should mention Orkut – Brent Simmons just posted a blurb on his blog about it too.

    My old BeOS cronies didn’t invite me either, so I haven’t taken a look at it. Toyed with Friendster, Ryze and Tribes(?). Without reposting the comment I made on Brent’s blog, it seems as though Ryze has the most (productive aspects) to offer. But hey, like I said, I’m a stranger to Orkut so maybe one of the “priviledged many” could offer a better viewpoint. :-)

  5. All this BeOS talk is making me miss the old BeOS days, back when BeUserTalk was just so awesome. It seems like just yesterday that I was reading e-mails from Scot and BeGirl (is Torri still around?). Now, all I have are a couple of screenshots sitting in the BeOSJournal screenshot gallery.

    Like Scot, I’m using Mac OS X these days but I think I will always have a soft spot for BeOS.

  6. Brion, I couldn’t agree more about the “what now?” aspect of these social networking services. It’s interesting to see those comments because I’ve figured that I simply must not be digging deep enough because I wasn’t “getting it.” But maybe there is no there there after all. Although I must say that LiveJournal really did have a there there… because it was based primarily on the post, with the network being secondary to that. With Friendster etc., the network itself is primary.

  7. Just found this article over at Wired about “Social Nets Not Making Friends”. Thought it would be an interesting addition to this conversation (in fact, that’s something that has always been on my mind as I joined new services – I sent out invitations from Friendster, but not any of the others for the express reason of not wanting to annoy the living crap out of my friends).

  8. Hey – I’ve been digging up old BeOS memories lately and I’m damn glad I thought about visiting Scot’s site. Orkut seems to be back up and operational (2/6/04) – someone should invite me onto orkut. It’d be nice to be able to get back in touch with everyone again!

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