social networking

On lighter note, Facebook vs Orkut

Posted on July 6, 2007. Filed under: facebook, Orkut, social networking |

This is one thing which is on my mind for past few weeks. I recently covered Orkut and Facebook and also compared them on the lighter notes. I recently covered few changes done in Orkut. But none the less, I am doing it once again. This time my source of information is Google Trends. It is really quite interesting. Though it is not something which we didn’t expected, but yes it is interesting enough to be here.
First of all, a note on Google trends
They should make those charts more sharable. I have to follow print screen method which is really cumbersome, and if you know any refined and a free of cost method then feel free to tell me in comments.
Coming back on the topic…
Before any thing else, I would once again make clear that why this topic interest me so much. Orkut is highly popular and have the same cult like following which Facebook enjoys in US varsities. And after the recent news gain by facebook makes it an interesting competitor to orkut. Otherwise I dont have any kind of stake in any company…
Lets first look the trends for the search and news items which are the overall criteria of the Google trends, blue one is for Facebook and red one is for Orkut.
This one is for 2007, and will bring more focuses results for this year.
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Inference:
Recently after F8 there is a sudden rise in the news references which Facebook got. Since this is not up to date trend, so we can not tell that what effect F8 caused to the graph . One thing which people can say that Orkut being an old network wont be the hot enough to discuss, and thus this graph does not make any sense. My answer to them is, when you are in social web space and you are not being talked about then there is something wrong, by wrong I meant that you are not innovating enough, and if you are not innovating then you are giving other networks a chance to gain more people. They might not take away your existing members but yes they may reduce the future numbers.
This point is much more solidified by the upper graph. People are not searching about Orkut. Why this must be saddening to Orkut, (beyond ego surfing for Mr. Orkut)? One word answer, NEW USERS. Old users are not going to search much for the network on which they are, but the users which are new will be inquisitive enough to search about the new network. One more probable reason for the searches can be, hacks for the network, but here again since Orkuts api is not open, then umber of mods and hacks are not there in market.
US was never a forte for Orkut. But US certainly have maximum internet users, so a trend analysis of US region makes sense.

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Here…aha it was obvious…as previously mentioned…
US cetizens are neither interested nor using writing about it. This analysis as like previous is from history…so we can not tell about the latest hype effect, but I dont think that will be any way in favour of Orkut.

Now comes the other one…which is just the way round…and this time its all Orkut. Orkut in India, is making news and is being used. Though news are not for good reasons, but as it is said that any publicity is good publicity, so it is true for Orkut. In India Orkut is all up, and Facebook fares much poorer than Orkut in US.

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People are not at all searching about Facebook, which may be taken as that it is not creating enough buzz. And buzz is all that matter , when it comes to such kind of products.

Below are the international top 10 ratings with Facebook and Orkut as reference respectively.

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This is really interensting Facebook is attracting more buzz in Canada than in US…Oh this one is surprising…
Now lets see the Orkut international card, BRAZIL…BRAZIL…yup thats the topper…

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One can not tell very much from these trends for the simple reason that they are not up to date. But this certainly can be extrapolated, to get the latest figures. One more thing, Google trends need to improve themselves or else they should buy some other service doing trends, becasue presently they are nothing but healthy Buzz index, which can be used to tell how much buzz one is creating. But none the less it provides some pieces of useful information. And for conclusion…Mr. Orkut…I have only one suggestion for you…think out of the box and innovate.

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Orkut blog is up.

Posted on July 6, 2007. Filed under: Orkut, social networking |

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI think its blogging time for Google. Orkut is up with its very own blog. Because the services which didn’t had blog till now are now up with their own blogs. Latest in this series is Orkut. Orkut is the only successful social network under the umbrella of google. There was once the latest news thing in the header of Orkut, and which was never updated and had news dating back to 2005 which was hilarious.

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This new strategy of having more and more interaction points might just prove fruitful for orkut, the other interaction vents included a Google group, and a help center. Even Orkut feels that it is late to come up with blog now, but that said they also feel it is better late than never.
To mention one more thing, as it is with every other Google blog, it does not have a comments section, so you can not interact, butthere is a link else where which is aksing you to write down what you expect from the blog. I think that latest Facebook lava has touched them in some good way, (hope s0).
I was having problems to update my photo in the new orkut format which was recently changed. It has turned up more advanced, and web2istic. It was solved only the last night. Here is an example of the change made in orkut.
Quite azaxified….
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Recently Blogger is also giving me troubles with adding photo, and is quite bugging.

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Pop..an open My Space.

Posted on June 30, 2007. Filed under: social networking, web services |

Amount of hype(for good reasons) is already bringing Facebook some new members. I now have 9 friends in Facebook and 8 are new. Pretty interestingly Facebook is also showing a revved up performance in India all over. Globally also Facebook is seeing a rise in daily traffic. Which is pretty much clear from this graph.

One very interesting thing which can be seen is that Facebook’s graph is showing an increasing trend where as other two are quite static. Though F8 can not be pointed as a specific turn around point but indeed it caught my attention. What Facebook did in F8, is now being sought by MySpace, that is, they want to open up themselves.
Hey, enlighten me, didnt we had third party apps, finely integrated in Myspace profiles, adding up lots of clutter and feeding a big parallel tertiary market. MySpace is already quite open, and its openness have already been utilized by few intelligent miscreants. To mention Facebook is like orkut a closed network, where you have to login before watching any kind of profile, they are not available as web pages.
So all in all as it seems from thousand of miles away from the place where few people are burning fuel to make MySpace more open is nothing but surfing. Surfing? yes they too want to ride on the wave of openness, want to gain some media mileage by telling every one that they are more open. Though there is high scope for opening up, but as history tells me, Myspace gets irritated when there is some high traffic gainer app on the profile page of various MySpace users. Bye the way, MySpace is being thrashed all over the park, just like Sachin did yesterday in Ireland, after they created a Youtube clone.
Orkut presently enjoys 2nd position in India as most visited website and facebook is on 29th. So there is lot of catching up required for Facebooks where Indians only constitute 0.8% of visitors. and this percentage is as high as 15% on Orkut.
At present Orkut is boring me a great deal, and the social networks which needs some opening up or some major overhaul is Orkut. And till then I will be resending invites to my friends so as I get more friends on Facebook.

PS: All the data is from Alexa.com

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Trying out Facebook.

Posted on June 27, 2007. Filed under: social networking |


I am on Orkut, and at present its the only social network that keeps me busy. But there is something in Orkut which always tell me to look elsewhere. I also have an account on MySpace, but for MySpace isnt interesting enough. Recently after the F8 media hype (hyped for good reasons) I though to give Facebook another try. I had a pending friends request for months, I clicked on it and now I am on Facebook. And at present it seems it is something where I can rest of my time. I have repeatedly felt that quality of social network is not that important when compared to the number of people on it. An avalanche effect takes place when few friends of same mixed group joins a social network.
If I join a network, and so does my friend, then when we both send invitation to our common friends, then there is more initiation force on that third person. And when the number of friends cross a limit of certain value then the number of new friends joining that network increases quite rapidly. But for that to happen, the new social network has to be really interesting.
With Facebook opening their API, the innovation quotient has gone few steps up. And now onus of innovation is on whole community, and developers. Few of the new applications are interesting enough to become a social network on their own. And when such kind of things are being added on a regular basis, then it marks a question in your head, ‘Whats Next?’ And this is something Orkut is missing, where most of my friends resides.
Orkut and Facebook can be easily compared because both are doored networks. By ‘doored’, I meant that, to view any profile you have to login. This is a nice options for those who dont want their profiles to be a part of Google search.
So far I am quite impressed by Facebook, last time when I tried to join facebook, it did not had that innovation feel and was more closed. But later they opened their doors to everybody and not only to .edu based schools and colleges( that seemed idiotic to me). But this F8 phenomenon really impressed me, and latest addiitons are quite interesting.
As I have mentioned that I am on Facebook, you can check my Profile here. You have to be on Facebook to watch my profile and add me as your friend.

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Socialy connected…

Posted on June 21, 2007. Filed under: social networking, startups |

After seeing multi million deals surrounding social network, one can marvel the fact that none of them were a technical breakthroughs. So what made them such a hit?
I am talking about, the major social networks like MySpace, video sharing site like YouTube etc. More often than not it is being at right place and at right time. Social networks were there way back before MySpace, Facebook or Orkut came. But still only few are raking moolah. The most important thing behind the success of a social network is the initial crowd which surrounds it. But why am I talking about it, when we all know about it somewhere inside our brain?
The thing which prompted me to write about this is the arrival of new phenomenon; having a social network of own. And the avalanching force behind this post; social network surrounding Mashable, a very popular blog, and probably the best when it comes to pure social network news. Mashable recently got a social network of its own and woila it got zillion members already. Now thats ok for a Mashable but that not be ok for you, cause you must have a sizable network to start with, either from good advertising or from your connections. And, from my little expireince I can tell you, when it comes to creating a social network, any publicity is not good publicity, and bad publicity is really a bad publicity. I will try to explain it in my future post. And let me tell you, My mom is asking me to leave my laptop and get into the world of my course books, as I am having my Physics examination of second semester on Monday.

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More Google integration in Orkut.

Posted on May 31, 2007. Filed under: Orkut, social networking |

This is a post after eons, I was busy with examination, and few other blogs. The blog I am Talkin about is the one for my college club, Friday Colours. It is taking lot of my blogging time, and rest of my time is being taken by my studies. It some time become really hard to manage virtual life and the real life.
But then there are some things which excite you enough to break away from crunch schedule and write a blog post, and this surely is one of them. And once again this is related to orkut. The social network which is biggest in India and Brazil, and having a cult following in India. They have added and changed few things.
One of the minor change is that they have shifted few things from one place to another, this include the scraps and cool etc information which were previous present at right corner and are now present on left.
The other welcome change is the navigation capability in the album space of orkut. They did it once and then removed it, and now they have done it again, lets hope this time it remains as a permanent addition.
But besides all thes minor addition there is one welcome addition and one very brilliant is the capability to add RSS feeds to one profile and this one is really brilliant. They have now integrated Blogger and their Picasweb services very nicely and in very sublime manner to orkut. I always wanted to have both these facilities included in Orkut, this makes it more dynamic, and you can show off more things, and this to without adding much pressure on Orkut platform. Now I think they should make the orkut API open or some part of it, much in the way Twitter have done. And yes I still want multiple scrap posting in Orkut.
One of the other interesting service which I would love to have from Google stable is Calendar functioning in Orkut which would provide event handling capacity to orkut, much in the way like Evite or Renkoo. A mobile version of Orkut will also do great wonder. Having more control in terms of personal profile design will also be great, and make Orkut a better social network.
To sum it all, if Google is taking social network space seriously then they should work on orkut more than what they are currently doing.

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Big Adda in Alpha

Posted on May 8, 2007. Filed under: India, social networking |


I last time posted about Big Adda over here. And now they are in alpha. They banked on silent publicity, firstly they went for public opinion poll for their logo, which now is two hi fives. They are currently in alpha, and you can ask for invite on the site and hope that they will be sending it to you pretty soon, as I am doing.
The fact is that India is a growing market, and number of internet connections are going to increase and so will the market of social networking. Presently there is no path breaking or very wonderful Indian social network which are like mere clones to what My Space is doing. And the fact is that no body is doing it in the way My Space had done. So if Reliance Entertainment want to be the part of it then they are thinking it in right way.
What seems form their first page is that they have done it all, that is they are providing a home grown video hosting site, blogging platform, social networking platform(obviously), and then something sort of communities which they are calling addas. Orkut communities have already created some news in India, and it would be very good for Big Adda to have any controversy matching Orkut controversies. But are they ready to face lawsuits, which Google+Youtube are facing, because users will surely upload such stuff which can prove fatal for a small network. But small network may not fall under any radar, but a networking site backed by a big business organization can call unknown troubles pretty soon. But this is all stored in unknown future. Ant till then we can only hope for an early invite of Big Adda so that we can check it out.

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Big Adda… Is it really from Reliance.

Posted on April 19, 2007. Filed under: India, social networking |

As of things are going and if Amit from Webyantra is to be believed then Reliance entertainment industries is redying its Social network for India. And if that is true then Indian socail networking space which has been plagued by few clones and a snaily Orkut, can hope for something very interseting. Reliance Entertainment which recently launched Zapak gaming portal and also launched Zapak mail which is one the most irritating client, is under Anil Ambani and if it is his decision then I think they have got one good team at Reliance. Success of MySpace can inspire any one to fall in this race.
But the big question… Is news truly true…
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They have named it as Big Adda, and currently they are asking users to vote for their logo. This is a nice startegy, becuase this step gives you time before launching and also get known. But the mother of all question, can they beat Orkut, which without any doubt is Indias biggest social network which is under Google’s umbrella.

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Picasa+Web=Picasaweb+Blogger!!!

Posted on March 27, 2007. Filed under: google, social networking |


Consolidation, this has been the mantra for people at google for while, at least it seems from viewer angle. Gtalk with Orkut, then Orkut+Youtube, Reader+Blogger, and now Blogger+Picasaweb.
This time also they have done it nicely and it was a long felt need. I, always wanted to retrieve images I uploaded to blogger for posts and wondered where they went after I uploaded them, and now they have solved both of my problems. They have integrated both the platforms together. You can see all your photos which you uploaded on your blog on your Picasaweb page with a Blogger B logo on them. And them from there, you can use them for reposting.
This is still not done they can also make Picasweb a hub for my photos on Orkut, and can make them more secure.
There is one more thing which Google have added on Picasaweb, and that is community photo search. This now brings it in lines of Flickr, but still it is not very networking friendly, as you still dont have a single window kind of thing to view your favorites photos. But they are improving and that too on fast pace, and more importantly this king kong size organization is going for consolidation.

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Jabbits. QnA using videos.

Posted on March 27, 2007. Filed under: social networking, video |


I have already mentioned, why I didn’t posted any thing for such a long time over here. And here is my first storming post after the lull. First thing I did after returning was to get online, and after that I opened Google reader…to go on reading spree to read posts in excess of 4k. And as usual I started with web2.0 blogs, and incidentally I went to Mashable and found about Jabbits.
Jabbits is a new take on QnA, that revolves around video. We all will certainly agree that video is best way to convey a message, and QnA on video is indeed a nice idea. You ask question in form of a video, and receives answers in same form. As I am writing about it, a simple yet powerful struck to me, that is in distant teaching. Students fire there questions to group of teachers and get answers in return, and similarly teacher fires question and get solution from his students, all this in an organized manner.
As mentioned Pete Cashmore, on Mashable, they should look into providing widgets to embed in ones blog and various profiles. But one thing is for sure that innovative ideas revolving around user generated videos is a new trend, and will stay for long time.
But, yes a but, when it comes to QnA, I will still prefer Yahoo Answers, though Jabbit is ready to award me $100 for my good answers. Why I will stcik to Yahoo Answers is because it is simple. When it comes to anything user generated, lesser the numbers of steps to achieve some thing more usable it becomes. For example, lets compare erstwhile Hotmail and Gmail, Hotmail had one step in excess to read messages whereas Gmail takes you directly to all the mails. Coming back to QnA, creating video is not a one step process, its a multiple step process on Jabbit. If I have a question then I may want answer quickly, and that happens on Yahoo, you get answers quickly , sometimes within seconds. Then there is another problem when it comes to asking via video, people tend to go for explaining in excess, and then asking a simple question at the end… what it had done is, it kicked many viewers out of your site. In case of written questions your eyes somehow focus directly on key words and then if you like the queestion you answer it otherwise go for another question.
One more thing which bothers me is fake answers, how would I know that answer which I am just going to see is for real or some phony blot. They do provide for some written floats for answers but still I would love to have more. Because if I visit Jabbit on my bad day then I may never visit it again, and here Jabbit have done nothing wrong. They will pay for what their users have done.
Do I have a solution for this problem…Ok I will take my chance…
Use some sort of speech to text methodology, which will at least work for questions in english and then provide some thumb up-down option for questions and answers.
All said, I will still give it a try, not as a source to get valuable answers but for controlled use within my group, because in that way I will get best I can, and here it will certainly score lots of brownies over any conventional QnA site.
And as of site designing they have done some neat job, and use a nice color combination, such things by no mean are small, they matter a lot when thousands of users fall on your site on seconds basis.

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