Saturday, September 20, 2008

They don't orkut like they used to before

Two friends' birthdays whizzed by and the number of badde greetings on orkut ere signifiantly less compared to what it used to be.

Two possibilities - they're not as popular as before or people are orkutting less.

I go with the latter explanation.

People are orkutting less coz now that the first wave of euphoria - of reuniting with old friends, checking out their honeymoon snaps and kids - over, what next? Orkut's communities are too trivial: most of the people wear them like badges - I belong to this this and this club; I am this guy's fan; I am into this hobby and this movie - and not for active discussion.

The other reason is the walled garden syndrome that Guy Kawasaki mentions. Since each social networking site is a silo, you do not have a single user interface to manage all your network. Your social profiles in Orkut and Facebook are maintained separately, you have to upload the same snaps from the trp you took last week to Flickr, Orkut/Picasa and Facebook and your LinkedIn account is a separate issue altogether.

Kawasaki suggests the evolution of the meta-SNSes. A large social networking site could become a large repository of a number of relationships with smaller sites looking at it to specialize across horizontal uses (for example, creating a site focused on dating or job search) or vertical ones (for example, a site focused on information exchange between subject matter experts within one particular domain).