Another silly Orkut posting.
I accepted an invitation to join Orkut, partly to find out what "social software" was all about.
I continued to accept "friendships"--by and large--to give it a fair chance. And, I think, proposed "friendship" in one or two cases (both actual friends).
So far, there have been some strange invitations to join middle eastern communities, a couple of political mass-mailings, and that's it.
Today, a landmark of sorts was reached: I now have a supposed circle of 2,005,387 "friends" via the 19 "friends" in my social circle.
I'm now pondering whether to pare that set down to people who might fit more plausible definitions for useful social software--that is, people who I know enough to place some trust in (beyond the level of trust that I, as a notorious Pollyanna, place in almost everyone). That's mostly people I've actually met, and maybe one or two who I've learned to trust. I think it comes to 8 out of the 19. Nothing against the other 11; I just don't really know them to any significant degree.
I'd guess there are 300-500 people, maybe more, who I would put on a "trusted acquaintance"/friends list...People I'd go at least a little out of my way to respond to or help, and who I think would do the same for me. I suppose 8 on Orkut isn't bad.
But, based on that absurd two million number, I can only assume that "friends" of "friends" are as loosely defined as the current 19--that is, there's no real reason to believe that a "friend" of a "friend" of a "friend" of a...has anything more than possible name recognition with the link in the chain.
I haven't done anything yet. I'm not convinced that social software is worthless, but I'm pretty much reaching that conclusion for Orkut's implementation, at least as far as I'm concerned.
Postscript: Orkut now consistently yields a "Page has no data" error when I log in, so I think Rochelle and I are pretty much in the same boat.
Such is life: Even Google-owned websites go bad.