My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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why Orkut makes people insecure

I was talking to a friend about my Orkut rant. Orkut really bothered him and he was trying to tease out why. He knew that it bothered him more than Friendster and it wasn’t simply because it was Google. In fact, he really likes Google.

As far as he could tease out, it bothered him mostly because the YASNS phenomenon has been around for a year at this point. Many of the weaknesses have been publicly discussed, particularly around Friendster. “Google had the opportunity to learn from Friendster and the other YASNSes, solving their known issues, but instead they released a tool that was broken in exactly the same way as its ancestors. This doesn’t advance the art, it doesn’t provide new value to users, and, because of Google’s popularity and credibility, it foists the YASNS problems (like the Economy of Bullshit and the social awkwardnesses) on an even larger user-base. Friendster had the excuse that they were breaking new ground and discovering new problems. What’s Google’s excuse?”

Of course, he’s not the only one uncertain about Orkut. Chris articulates his insecurity based on his feelings of being disrespected..

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4 comments to why Orkut makes people insecure

  • Abe

    not just broken in the same way as its ancestors, but also broken in dozens of ways that they aren’t. It’s like a case study in why stereotypical geeks are socially inept…

  • Spoken like one one of the popular kids in school, Abe. Correct, but…

    Where do you want it to go? What is more? vs. better? What is orthogonal, taking yasns in new directions?

  • I’ve added a new post at http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2004/02/confirmed_email.html that discussed a confirmed privacy hole where if you send an message, anyone who you sent it to who recieves it as email gets your real email address in a Reply-To: header of the email, even if your preferences are set never to give out your email.

    I’ve also suggested a specific ‘Orkut Beta’ group to be a centralized place on Orkut to discuss and disseminate Orkut issues, at least until they have a more official method.

  • Orkut Rethought

    I know this whole spiel comes a bit late, considering this topic was *so* 2 weeks ago, but I felt the necessity to explain why I deleted most of my friends, groups, and have become utterly uninterested in checking my…