Monday, November 29, 2004

Is Google jumping the shark with its latest addition: Orkut "Media"

Cross-post from my Personal Blog.

I've been meaning for a while to point out this new service on Google's "social networking" site, Orkut, called "Orkut Media"

I'm finally prompted to by reading this blog post from Corante president, Stowe Boyd.

I agree with him that none of the "social networking" sites I've tried, or continue to try, do much for me. I, too, am filled with ennui after using them for short spurts of time.

Orkut had promise, coming from Google and maintaining a certain exclusiveness that gave false hope that it wouldn't descend into yet another source of online spam. But as the spammy messages filled Message boxes, and each successive "Community" turned off the capability to send messages at all, it became yet another site I briefly visit each day to see if there's anything interesting going on, and then leave.

Now, they've introduced Orkut Media, a section on the site where they are going to publish written and photographic works from Orkut member submissions. Or supposedly that is the deal. But they've now revealed that most of the first crop of "essays" or "articles" to be found in the Media section are written by "staff writers."

And not so terrible interesting ones at that.

The goal is, I suppose, to give people more of a reason to stick around on Orkut. It's the same goal I think a blog can achieve for a company's web site.

But a company blog content is relevant to everything else you might find on a company's web site. How exactly are these random, brief stories relevant to anything else on Orkut? Maybe you'll go check out one of the author's profiles...and try to date them or something...but I don't see how this section drives you to hang around in other Orkut sections.

And I don't understand why people who are really into publishing stories etc. wouldn't simply use Google's Blogger to create their own web presence instead?

I don't get the strategy here. It feels totally random and not some organic evolution of the Orkut "service".

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