Thoughts on Orkut — Google's New Service

OK, thanks to my friend Clay who is chief techie for Dean, I got into Orkut today — Google’s new stealth social networking service designed to kill Friendster, Linked In and Ryze. It appears to be a clone — pretty much what one would expect from a state-of-the-art social networking site. There are hooks in there for connecting to Google’s upcoming e-mail service, and it looks like they are also planning to get into classifieds eventually. Why the name Orkut? It is clear that Google has its eye on the portal space. Bad move for Google in my opinion, but I guess they have to do this now that Yahoo! owns AllTheWeb which indexes more of the Web than Google in fact. I don’t think Google knows how to run a content or community based service — this is not their core competency — and I worry that if they extend into these areas they may risk diluting their brand and confusing their message. This will be an interesting case study to watch as it plays out. By the way let me know if you want to be invited to my Orkut network to try it out. Just email me with the subject line “Orkut” to nova AT radarnetworks DOT com.

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2 Responses to Thoughts on Orkut — Google's New Service

  1. Emile says:

    I was trying out AllTheWeb yesterday – google was unavailable (evil chinese proxies), and I was wondering if it was as good as google. I feel it isn’t – I couldn’t find the information I wanted, whereas later on with google, the same query brought it up to me.
    I was looking for something like b2 upload problems, and google’s first result was someone having upload problems with b2, and included the answer I was looking for. AllTheWeb didn’t find anything usefull. So maybe AllTheWeb indexes more, but for now I’m sticking to google ‘cos he seems smarter …

  2. Adam Lasnik says:

    > Why the name Orkut?
    Uh, it’s the pet project / creation of a Google engineer named Orkut 🙂
    And yes, I agree with you that the site seems to have a mixed-focus currently. It’ll be interesting to see how it evolves.
    Oh, and feel free to see my detailed review here if you like 🙂