My Weblog Is My Social Networking Software

Adam has a first-take on Orkut, the new social software out there. Word is that it's mostly bloggers at this one, since that's been how the meme has spread. The denizens of #joiito are discussing Orkut, and that's how I got my invite. Did I mention it's invite-only?

I'm fairly skeptical as to this whole social software idea, since it still doesn't seem to be designed to get people out of their chairs and into actual social situations. Besides, my weblog is my social software. Linking to others using the <a href=> tag has been far more effective for me in "meeting" new people than any other form of online conversation. Right now—and probably for the duration of my flirtation with Orkut—the only people on my "friends" list are #joiito members. Yes, I'm effectively saying I will not invite you or accept you as a "friend" unless you're a #joiito regular. (So much for that idea.) It's been putting a face to the screennames, but of course I must factor in the possibility that at least one of the faces may be a "Kaycee".

I was skeptical about Orkut until I read this from Adam's first-take: “Everyone is connected to Orkut Buyukkokten. It may take a few more hops for some people, but until people begin specifically breaking ties with the main mass of members to form their own network, there is no individual in the system that can't find a path to Orkut.” Hopefully, in the future, everybody will have their own social software which a) would be open-source and b) easily installed on one's server. Adam cheapens—wait, I meant democratizes!—the experience by offering anybody with a real name and email address an invite. That's probably why it's necessary to keep using our email address books—I mean have our own, decentralized social software!—in order for the experience to be truly personal.

Min Jung has a social-software feature request list. As always, the last one is the most important one.