Orkut, Jaiku, Google . . . Gesundheit

October 10th, 2007 22 Comments

All the good names may be gone.

Reading this piece in Business Week on Google’s orkut and their plans for social domination, I figured it was finally time to give orkut a test drive to see what all the excitamento or halachala (I hope these are close) was all about.

Orkut is wildly popular in Latin America, more than doubling the combined traffic of Facebook and MySpace in that area of the world, and it recently passed MySpace as the most popular social network in Asia-Pacific. Of course, it’s “Big in Japan“. These regions of the world are voracious consumers of social networking, as noted in our Connect experiment.

This isn’t an orkut review, but here are my impressions:

Anyway, it’s better than MySpace. It’s tough to give a real review without a decent network, so if you’re an orkutian, friend me and then convince me.

So, then I see that blognation is all worked up about Google buying Jaiku. I don’t use Jaiku, but from what I understand, it’s Twitter with a more erudite name. I’m not a huge fan of Twitter, but it’s semi-useful as a status tool. I think the idea has legs as an automated alert/notification collector, but anyway, Google is gearing up for the November 5 D-Day when they open the orkut code, or at least a bunch of APIs for orkut.

This is the big deal. By offering APIs for all their apps, Google pushes the integration work on you, the happy developer/user. I’m sure they’ll do integration at some level, but I wonder how much. For example, you’d think that Google Groups would have a slick way for you to share Google Docs with the group members. You’d be wrong.

Anyway, the potential for social mashups on the orkut platform is pretty awesome. Imagine mashing Google Maps with Google Calendar and orkut for planning and sharing events with your friends. This is basically what Upcoming does, except Upcoming has its own network. So, you have to re-add all your friends. Or how about sharing a document with your network, a.k.a. “content management” in the enterprise world. You could do this with box.net or Microsoft Live Spaces, but with Google Docs+orkut, everyone is already in the network. Data visualization tools open up too, when you combine your orkut network with Google Maps. This makes for a much richer social network than Facebook provides out of the box.

The network is the key because no one is an island, at least not online. Start with apps or start with network, either way, the two are better together.

The Facebook model is to add apps to the network, but Google already has the apps, putting them way ahead of Facebook in that area. I’ve speculated along with others about where Socialstream, the Google-funded research project that aggregates networks, plays into the Big Google Plan. Michael Arrington, at TechCrunch, seems pretty convinced that on November 5, Google will socialize its apps, which seems to mean overlaying the network functions on each app, as well as opening APIs for orkut.

This means Google may do both, i.e. socialize the apps and add meaningful apps to the network, and maybe, with Socialstream, aggregate your contacts into a single place, the Golden Ticket of social networking. I like this approach because it allows me to decide how to use my network of contacts. Maybe I don’t like the orkut UI, and among the Google apps, I use Google Docs almost exclusively. Adding my network to Google Docs allows me to take advantage of the social features without forcing me into a UI, like Facebook does.

Pretty cool stuff. I’m psyched to see what happens on November 5.


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22 Responses to “Orkut, Jaiku, Google . . . Gesundheit”

  1. Jaiku | Blogger & Podcaster: The Blog » Blog Archive » Another brand at the Googleplex Says:

    Oracle AppsLab » Orkut, Jaiku, Google . . . GesundheitFetched from del.icio.us/teequ 5 hours, 7 minutes ago. Add Comment

  2. Johan Myrberger Says:

    Jake,

    I believe Google have a good set of apps, however not that well integrated as you point out.

    However – among all the Google apps I do miss a good solution for your address book. See http://thekillerattitude.com/2007/09/where-is-google-contacts.html

    (And as I’ve been following this blog for a while, and am following you on Twitter I just tried to find you on Orkut. Couldn’t find you with the search. If you care, please look me up and connect)

  3. Johan Myrberger Says:

    Jake,

    I believe Google have a good set of apps, however not that well integrated as you point out.

    However – among all the Google apps I do miss a good solution for your address book. See http://thekillerattitude.com/2007/09/where-is-google-contacts.html

    (And as I’ve been following this blog for a while, and am following you on Twitter I just tried to find you on Orkut. Couldn’t find you with the search. If you care, please look me up and connect)

  4. Jake Says:

    Yeah, I hope address book is one of the new features. It will be tough to socialize the apps without one.

    Orkut search really seems awful. I can’t find you either. Search seems like a no-brainer for Google, but I guess this is a flawed assumption, e.g. Reader.

  5. Jake Says:

    Yeah, I hope address book is one of the new features. It will be tough to socialize the apps without one.

    Orkut search really seems awful. I can’t find you either. Search seems like a no-brainer for Google, but I guess this is a flawed assumption, e.g. Reader.

  6. Jake Says:

    Wow, I finally had to use Johan’s email addie to “find” him. I tried to use someone else’s, JIC that person was already using orkut. It fired off an email invite, no confirmation.
    Borked.

  7. Jake Says:

    Wow, I finally had to use Johan’s email addie to “find” him. I tried to use someone else’s, JIC that person was already using orkut. It fired off an email invite, no confirmation.
    Borked.

  8. Jay Says:

    1. Orkut has the worst search in the world.

    2. Orkut is hottest in India after Brazil.I read something like 72% Brazil and 18% India. Don’t know how much of that figure is true. I am almost guaranteed to find anyone in the 15 – 35 age group in my social circle and in India.

    3. I think the reason why it has caught on in India and Brazil has more to do with a few ‘sneezers’ rather than with the technology.

    4. Orkut came out as one guy’s ’20%’ project. It is obvious he was working in a silo and thatz why most of the mashups that you are referring to and would expect are not there.

    I’ll send u an invite :-)

    Cheers,
    Jay

  9. Jay Says:

    1. Orkut has the worst search in the world.

    2. Orkut is hottest in India after Brazil.I read something like 72% Brazil and 18% India. Don’t know how much of that figure is true. I am almost guaranteed to find anyone in the 15 – 35 age group in my social circle and in India.

    3. I think the reason why it has caught on in India and Brazil has more to do with a few ‘sneezers’ rather than with the technology.

    4. Orkut came out as one guy’s ’20%’ project. It is obvious he was working in a silo and thatz why most of the mashups that you are referring to and would expect are not there.

    I’ll send u an invite :-)

    Cheers,
    Jay

  10. Jake Says:

    Yeah, I know the history of orkut, but it’s been “product” for so long by now that you wonder why the integration is missing.
    Johan makes a good point about the Google Address Book too. Orkut seems like a good basis for that. Dunno. I’ll look for your invite.

  11. Jake Says:

    Yeah, I know the history of orkut, but it’s been “product” for so long by now that you wonder why the integration is missing.
    Johan makes a good point about the Google Address Book too. Orkut seems like a good basis for that. Dunno. I’ll look for your invite.

  12. Jay Says:

    Well, could not find you using the search. Duh.

    Herez the link to my profile.
    http://www.orkut.com/Scrapbook.aspx?uid=900134546436900867

    It seems they have very few people working in Orkut development.

    Ellison’s quote about Technology industry and women’s fashion comes to mind. Guessing they are having few internal takers as it is already assumed it is a dud compared to facebook or even the vertical ones like shelfari. No longer cool.

    Also, there is a huge issue of identity in Orkut. Anyone can create a profile and a lot of young women have been victims.

  13. Jay Says:

    Well, could not find you using the search. Duh.

    Herez the link to my profile.
    http://www.orkut.com/Scrapbook.aspx?uid=900134546436900867

    It seems they have very few people working in Orkut development.

    Ellison’s quote about Technology industry and women’s fashion comes to mind. Guessing they are having few internal takers as it is already assumed it is a dud compared to facebook or even the vertical ones like shelfari. No longer cool.

    Also, there is a huge issue of identity in Orkut. Anyone can create a profile and a lot of young women have been victims.

  14. Jaiku | Facebook hurjassa suosiossa.Paljon yhteisöllisen median aloittelijoita.Facebook huono.Aloittelijoista kasvaa harrastelijoita,minne menevät? Says:

    [...] @juhana2 : lähde edelliseen kommenttiin: http://theappslab.com/2007/10/10/orku… [...]

  15. PJ Says:

    I realise this is an old thread but still, id like to know if anyone has any information on the address book capabilities of Orkut.

    “There are no import capabilities from say an email address book. GMail, anyone? This is odd to me because I was automatically added by virtue of my Google ID.”

    It does seem daft that google dont intergrate all their services. ie Address book for use in gmail, orkut, youtube (forwarding clips) etc. Calendar in orkut for reminders. Address book in maps to easily reference friends/family locations.

  16. PJ Says:

    I realise this is an old thread but still, id like to know if anyone has any information on the address book capabilities of Orkut.

    “There are no import capabilities from say an email address book. GMail, anyone? This is odd to me because I was automatically added by virtue of my Google ID.”

    It does seem daft that google dont intergrate all their services. ie Address book for use in gmail, orkut, youtube (forwarding clips) etc. Calendar in orkut for reminders. Address book in maps to easily reference friends/family locations.

  17. Jake Says:

    @PJ there’s no way that I can find to import contacts from anywhere, even in CSV or vCard form. I wonder about the commitment level of Google to orkut b/c you’d think they’d want to add services to it. I did notice a GTalk tab integration that I think is new, but Firefox didn’t like the link.

  18. Jake Says:

    @PJ there’s no way that I can find to import contacts from anywhere, even in CSV or vCard form. I wonder about the commitment level of Google to orkut b/c you’d think they’d want to add services to it. I did notice a GTalk tab integration that I think is new, but Firefox didn’t like the link.

  19. harishchandra rajore Says:

    how do i c profiles of my friends etc on orkpat

  20. harishchandra rajore Says:

    how do i c profiles of my friends etc on orkpat

  21. Jake Says:

    @harishchandra: I don’t really understand the question. You can search for people you know and view profiles in orkut. Pretty standard feature.

  22. Jake Says:

    @harishchandra: I don’t really understand the question. You can search for people you know and view profiles in orkut. Pretty standard feature.

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