Several longtime contributors to Orkut are commiting "Orkutcide". I recently posted the following in the Orkut Design community in response to this slightly heavy-handed diatribe by Xah. Someone told me they liked my post, so I decided to share it here also. It goes like this:
It is difficult for sincere personal and professional networking to co-exist alongside of frivolity. However, there is certainly a place for frivolity.
When I first started using Orkut in May, I was surprised at how barren most of the serious communities were. Plenty of members, but no discussion.
I soon discovered that the real action was in humorous communities. In these places, and in individual scrapbooks, I quickly discovered who was witty and literate - I was impressed by the quick minds of several posters.
This resulted in my attending a party and meeting some of these people in real life. None of them were teenagers nor morons. All of them were wonderful, intelligent folks, some of them techies and some not.
So, Orkut suceeded in providing a social networking purpose for me. It is not at all what I expected, and it is increasingly difficult to use, what with slow response times and the Brazilian factor, but it is a form of social networking.
Orkut has an identity crisis. It's true purpose must be decided upon and then it's design must be altered to support that purpose. Until then, well, hey, "it's beta."