July 23, 2004

Brazilians on Orkut

Everyone's discussing the Brazilian invasion of Orkut these days - slashdot, thesocialsoftwareweblog, sociology of online journals, langemark's cafe, boing boing - try a bloglines search for Brazilian Orkut, or Brazilians Orkut.

I dashed off the comment below on a few of these blogs - just some quick thoughts that aren't quite expressed as clearly as I would like, but hopefully you'll get the gist of it:

The problem isn't just about language. The impact on my experience as a user is profound. First of all, Google's servers (and/or the lame code Orkut is based on?) can't handle the load - the user base has just grown too fast, whereas it was growing at a leisurely pace when the majority of users were from the United States. Secondly, netiquette is out the window. The original user base had so much in common, being mostly technorati, that common gaffes were avoided. There was no abuse of FOAF emails, posts were spare and to the point (and often gratifyingly hilarious) with judicious use of links, users knew not to easily take offense and to account for the vagaries of electronic communication. Now take all of that proper behavior and flip it on its head and you have what Orkut is today. A mess.

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