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Orkut reloaded (and unmarked)

Back a ways, I noted the bizarre total number within my circle in Orkut--more than two million at the time--and that the number did not decrease significantly when I cut my number of "friends" from 21 down to 12.

One who shall go unnamed (why cause him grief?) sent email with an interesting suggestion: The number being reported is roughly the total size of Orkut, and has nothing to do with your own "six degrees of separation."

Just now--with the two million+ having grown to three million+ in the interim--I did a little test of that. I deleted all my "friends" with two exceptions, each of them people with only 20+ direct friends in their own circles.

As I checked periodically, the total number varied, but in no meaningful manner. That is, it started at 3,021,371. After I deleted four of the twelve, it went to 3,018,027. After deleting another four, it went to 2,966,236. And, finally, after deleting all but the two most selective friends in the list, it popped up to 3,023,708--the highest number I've seen.

First, my apologies to anyone who actually uses Orkut, considers me a friend, and wonders where I've gone. Nothing against you: I consider all of the dozen to be friends, and just eliminated 10 of them in a spirit of inquiry.

Second, my opinion is that the number within "my circle" in Orkut is meaningless--that final behavior, jumping up when I deleted a couple more people, can't be explained in any rational manner I can think of.

Third, I've unbookmarked Orkut (since I can't figure out a way to actually delete my "membership"). I do believe social networking software, at least within the business world, may have its uses. I don't believe Orkut has any uses for me, and there are other better ways to waste time. (Like writing journal entries...)


I have to agree with you on the social network software. Right now other than be a time-sink or the pleasure in the competitiveness of aggressively high friend counts in places like friendster, I'm not really sure what SNS can do. Most of my "friends" are people I have already met via other sources. I have not made any new friends/social contacts from this software. Perhaps I am short sighted, like the admirals skeptical of Billy Mitchell, but I'm not sure what purpose social networks can serve.

Like ring tones, and other assorted goodies those kids today go gaga over. I just don't get it, I'd never have thought of it, nor thought it would be a success, but yet here we are.I can't remember the last time I logged into Orkut, wait, yes I can, the last time you wrote about it here. I can't see any reason to spend my time there, but I can see why others like sites like those. It's just not for me at this point I guess.And you took it off your bookmarks? Wow, I can't remember the last time I even looked at my bookmarks! I think I'm like an old man on the web now, I never venture outside of my favorite sites.

CL: See my quick reply to Blake below.

Blake, Curmudgeonly: To be fair, here's an article (in my local paper) that shows how some SNS can be worthwhile for some people under some circumstances.

And I suspect Liz Lane Lawley, an old friend (not that she's old--she's not--but I've known her for some time), could give you lots of other cases.

So far, Orkut's the only one I've been invited to join. I suspect that a more narrowly-defined, "business-oriented" system might be useful, although maybe not so much to me at this point. (As Blake says.)

I've tried to keep my set of favorites fairly short, and do some pruning once or twice a year, although admittedly only in the Firefox version. I also try to check all the sites at least once a quarter to see why I have them on my favorites list. But, like most of us (I suspect), I too spend most of my web time (which is quite limited, really) on a few favorite sites [one of which leads to nearly 100 other sites] and, as needed, through Yahoo/Google "referrals."

First, if you use Orkut/Friendster/Whateverster you have THAT in common with the other users, so you MUST be friends! ;)

Second, email is the king of social software, imho. Hard to beat it, been around for years, durable, scalable, washable. Unless of course you consider spam (see blake's current journal entry).