Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Exploring Orkut



[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Orkut Logo 2[/caption]


Recently, I've been posting to and exploring Orkut, a social network created by Google. Orkut is popular in other countries; but, it never really caught on in the United States. Facebook has eclipsed Orkut with their huge rise in popularity.

I find Orkut fascinating because of how easy the service makes it so you can choose who can see your posts. While the process of sorting your friends into groups is roughly the same as on Facebook, Orkut makes the process LOOK easier. I recognize the group feature of Orkut within Google Buzz, except that Buzz has a tighter integration with your contacts. Orkut almost seems to live outside of Google.

Some major disadvantages I find, besides not having anybody I know on Orkut, is the lack of ways to add stuff to your Scrapbook. A Scrapbook is the equivalent of the Facebook Wall. Except for Youtube and Blogger, people aren't bending over backwards to add an Orkut button to their content. It also appears that businesses aren't even bothering to set up profiles in Orkut.

That last one can be a benefit. I haven't found an Orkut equivalent of a Facebook Page. That alone cuts back on the amount of stuff that shows up on your Scrapbook.

Another difference that just came to mind is that Orkut does not have a messaging separate from the Scrapbook. If you want to send a private message, you can send a private message through the Scrapbook, like on Buzz.

Orkut does provide a chat feature, which basically borrows Google Talk. This is good in that it lets you connect with others who aren't on Orkut through text, voice, or video chat.

When it comes down to it, a lot of what makes Orkut distinct is mirrored through Google Buzz, the difference being that Buzz has wider adoption in the U.S. In addition, Google Buzz has a much better mobile interface than Orkut. The mobile version of Orkut only allows you to post on others' Scrapbooks; except for photos, posting on your own Scrapbook requires a circuitous process.

I'm not really expecting disaffected Facebook users to start flocking over to Orkut anytime soon. It's a totally different vibe. For now, I'll keep poking around Orkut as time permits.


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