February 29th, 2004

Orkut…What next?


Orkut has done a lot of things “right” like its user-friendly interface. Unfortunately, when it comes to “what next”, it fails quite miserably. It does not know whether if it should be a casual social network like friendster or commerical social network like linkedin. It also not able to tell its users (like me) what it offers other then joining to be “part of the network”.

In my opinion, there are a lot of potential in this new social network software. Sitting here at the lounge, I can think of a dozen of ideas…You can develop new form of email system which filters based on certain level of trust. Or use the relationship to control “blogspam” (anyone >2 degree away, sorry :-). I can use it to gather information about demography. And so on…The point is, there are a lot of things you can do with such social network. And I am sure there are a lot of ideas out there.

So if Orkut is really smart, they should let it go and give the communities APIs so people can build applications and services on top of their system. Instead of been a “gatekeeper”, they could be an enabler of a fundamental social-techno infrastructure which innovations and creative services to be build upon.

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