Orkut getting design overhaul

Orkut, Brazil’s most popular social network, is finally getting a design overhaul which I believe is the very first real overhaul since launching in 2004. Orkut has always been on the back burners of Google, even in spite of its parent company’s overwhelming global position at the top of the tech world. One would expect Orkut to be Google’s answer to Facebook but it never was. Perhaps with the new look, Orkut might get some int’l attention outside of India and Brazil.

Power.Com – Cuidado, hein!

“Chances are you use at least two major social networks – 49 million people, for example, visited both MySpace and Facebook in October 2008 (Comscore, worldwide). Nearly 7 million people in the UK use both Bebo and Facebook. A lot of people maintain very different friend lists on LinkedIn than MySpace or Facebook. Etc. And when you add in niche social sites like YouTube, Flickr, etc., there’s even more overlap among users.

There has never been an effective way of aggregating and merging all the data and activity on these sites into a single user interface. A new venture backed Brazilian-based started called Power.com launches today, though, that aims to do just that.” – from TechCrunch

My Take

The idea isn’t new, even within Brazil although the main site that did this was only offered in Portuguese (I’m blanking on the name at the moment since I don’t personally use site aggregators).

UI could use some work too so lets hope they improve it quickly.

As I mentioned, site aggregators aren’t my favorite thing and equally so, OpenID is something I avoid too. The concept is nice but in the same way that I wouldn’t accept a National ID here in the States, I wouldn’t go for it online either. To go even further, I’m against the whole cloud idea too as in general, giving another company permission to hold all your data is dangerous.

Shall I even mention the general uselessness of social networks and how they keep us unconnected (to the real world) by keeping us connected (to the virtual one)? Ok, ok, I admit, I have one account on one network, but its for business purposes.

As far as online socialness, the question most companies are left with is shall we federate or aggregate?

The Trajectory of Orkut

1) In the beginning Orkut was a temple of learning and exchanging knowledge. (“In 1944 the Russians where near Berlin!”)

2) Then a crowd of stupid young people destroyed the flame of knowledge. (“Kiss me or bite me game?”)

3) Soon after, spammers owned everything (“Me and my friends will drive you crazy!”)

Orkut & The Brazilian Invasion

(Questo articolo in “Italiano”)

Orkut is a social networking service which is run by Google and named after its creator, an employee of Google – Orkut Büyükkökten (don’t ask). The service, which started in 2004, states that it was designed to help users meet new friends and maintain existing relationships. Orkut is similar to other social networking sites, except that it is the most visited website in Brazil. The initial target market for Orkut was the United States, but the majority of its users are in Brazil. In fact, as of May 2008, 43.9% of the traffic comes from Brazil, followed by India with 38.8%.

The reason behind the high numbers of Brazilians on Orkut? The Brazilian Internet Phenomenon. It’s a term used to describe the massive adoption by Brazilians of an Internet service exceeding the number of members of the original nationality of the service. A possible reason for this is shown on a recently an IBOPE/NetRatings study that revealed that they overtook the U.S. in terms of time surfing on the internet and, today, are the people who spend the most time on the internet.

Other services which reflect this phenomenon also?

MSN Messenger

And its being seen with IRC, Blogger, Gmail & Skype too…so if you are looking for Brazilians online, now you know where to find them.