Tuesday, May 04, 2004

The Orkut Phenomenon. This is a fast growing system where one creates a Social Network (incidentally read the book called Linked on Social Networks which was very interesting) using a chain of available people. I have been a part of it and have been realizing very interesting aspects of it. Incidentally had a discussion with Ronny Dam regarding this too. My take on this trend is as following:

1. It helps in getting you in touch with people who you had lost touch with but would like to get back in touch with.
2. It gives you an ego hike when you see a large number of people in your so called "Friend list" and makes you feel popular.

Then the problem starts:

1. Friends of friends start contacting you and people you have no clue about want to be your "friend". Agreed that this helps in broadening your social circle but the pit side to this is that the system is intrusive. A friend of mine recently got this invite she would have ideally not accepted but then it was a friend's friend and you do not want to be rude to a "friend's friend" - even though you might not have wanted to be "friend-ly" with the person to start with.

My solution to this is two fold - (i) you should only be able to add people directly without revealing how you got to that person, thereby eliminating the need to embarrass intermediate friends and (ii) any invitation you want to send to people who are "your friend's friend" should be send through the friend - this would create an initial embarrassment for your friend too and after a while he/she will filter requests themselves for you.

So it will be interesting to see how this system keeps up ... we shall wait en see

woaw, your second idea is great... never thought about it, but we are in 2010 and Facebook doesn't seem to get it...
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