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E-Society for E-Gentlemen

orkut

Man is said to be the best creature not only of the world but also of the universe. No ones crowned us as the best. We, ourselves declare it time to time. Though we all are nothing but social animals, there are some basic things that make us something different from the animals.

The very first thing is that we can think in a healthy way.

Secondly, we can express ourselves and are ready to exchange our ideas.

And finally, we can band our thumb. It is a very unique feature that no other animals even a monkey can do!

To satisfy the second point, i.e. – to express ourselves and to exchange ideas people started to live socially and thus form society.

On the basis of these three things mankind’s progress is still going on.

According to the intellectual society, some discovery and inventions that carries our civilization towards the zenith are – the fire, the wheel, the books, the electricity, the medicines and the Internet. All these things take an active and unique part to make our civilization the best.

Internet is the latest of all these things, which is growing rapidly day-by-day. It makes our life better and simpler. Also, it makes the world a tiny global village.

‘Chat’ is one of the most popular features of the Internet. There are thousands of web sites that provide the facility of chatting. Chat is a service of the Internet that allows to converse in real time with people around the world. Once you enter a chat room, which is just a web page that runs special software, you can choose to just read the message or join in by posting your own message. Chat rooms focus to conversation on many specific topics.

It is a very ideal way to communicate with others from the different parts of the world in real time with so low cost, just as a local telephone cell charges. But, there are some problems also.

First of all, a very few people consider it as a serious means of conversation. Secondly, people from all category enters here and most of them either kidding or playing with others emotions. This is a very serious problem and it creates a harmful effect to the serious people who really wants to exchange their ideas for the greater interest of the human beings.

To solve the problem and to give a platform to the serious people, a new website has been developed and it announced some sophisticated, extra-ordinary feature that makes the intellectual level very interested towards the baby website.

It is none other than the Orkut, one of the popular website developed by another popular web site or search engine – Google.

Orkut is an online community designed to help people connect, build relationships and creates engaging communities around common interests. It can make our social life more active and stimulating. Orkut’s social network can help us to maintain existing relationships with pictures and messages, and establish new ones by reaching out to people we’ve never met before. Orkut makes it easy to find people who share our hobbies and interests, look for romantic connections or establish new business contacts. One can also create and join a wide variety of online communities to discuss current events, reconnect with an old friend or even exchange your favorite recipes.

Orkut was launched on 22nd January 2004 by the search engine Google. It was the brain child of Orkut Buyukkokten, a Turkish software engineer, who developed it as an independent project while working at Google. It claims to be designed to help users meet new friends and maintain existing relationships. Orkut goes a step further by permitting the creation of easy-to-setup simple forums called communities of users. Originally, the Orkut communities were felt to be elite, because its membership was by invitation only. At the end of July 2004, Orkut surpassed the 10,00,000 (ten lacks) member mark, and at the end of September 2004, it surpassed the 20,00,000 (twenty lacks) mark. As of 9th April 2007, the number of members was over 49 million.

You must have a Google account to use Orkut. You must be 18 years or older to use the Orkut.com service, you represent and warrant that you are 18 or older and that you have the capacity to understand, agree to and comply with the Terms of Service. In addition, you must provide true, accurate and complete registration information to be an Orkut.com member. As a part of registration process, you will be asked to select a username and password and you will be responsible for all activities occurring under your username and for keeping your password secure.

Before getting to an Orkut member, you can read their profile and even see how they are connected to you through the friends network.

Apart from the normal features like messaging and photo album, Orkut has a list of features unique to itself like ‘scrapbook’, ‘community’ etc.

Scrapping, though the word in not accepted officially in English, is popular among the Orkut community as a kind of offline chatting. You can scrap a person even if he is offline. The person to whom the scrap is sent will be able to see it when he visits his scrapbook. Contrary to personal messaging or email, scrap book entries are public, meaning that any one with an orkut account can read others scraps.

Another unique feature of orkut is "Communities". Anyone with an orkut account can create a community on anything. One can post topics, inform users about an event, ask them questions or just play games. There are more than a million communities on orkut on absolutely everything from hero to zero, from market to movie, from your pet to your teacher. The first five communities on orkut were started within 24 hrs of launch of orkut. In April 2007, orkut added a feature called "Polls" where in community users can be polled. Participation can be open for all or can be restricted to only the members of community.
I myself have created two communities viz – the Prantik Poriyal, for the readers of the Assamese fortnight magazine, and the COMIT, for all of you. You may join in the COMIT community and can share your thoughts, exchange your ideas and take help from some brillient students or teachers.

In addition to this Orkut has a personal messaging feature. Users rarely use this feature. It is mainly used by community owners to ask others to join their community. Though the messages are meant to be personal they aren't. If you know the exact link of the message then you can visit and read their messages.

There is also a feature to upload photos and videos into your orkut profile. One can have up to 12 photos on his album. Each photo can also be tagged with a citation. The video upload feature was added in early 2007.

Users have options to rate their friends in the order of "Best Friends", "Good Friends", "Friends", "Acquaintances" and "Haven't met".

Orkut allows anyone to visit anyone's profile. Importantly, each member can also customize their profile preferences and can restrict information that appear on their profile from their friends and/or others (not on the friends list). If person A deletes person B from his friends' list, person A will be deleted from person B's friends' list also.

Orkut has many other competitors such as MySpace and Facebook, Widespread Internet communities. The only major feature that orkut lacks is a Blogging service. Google is planning to add several new features to Orkut within 2007.

The highest user of Orkut is from Brazil. As on 16th may 2007, Brazilion Orkut users counts for 55.8% of the total users, followed by the United States and India with about 18.94% and 14.82% respectively.

In the first year of Orkut users who misbehaved or were reported to misbehave could be "jailed". Their account was suspended, their site access was reasonably limited, and their profile picture was temporarily replaced with a silhouette of a man behind prison bars. Although this served a useful purpose, the way users were selected to be jailed caused heated discussions and complaints among Orkut users: every user's profile has a "Report as Bogus" button, which, if pressed, automatically flagged the user to be jailed. Conceivably, this meant that anyone could be jailed at any time by pressing a single button.

Users who were jailed were not informed of the reason, nor were they notified that they had been jailed. Jailing usually did not last long (up to 24 hours in most cases), but was often disturbing to users, as there is no direct contact to the Orkut team (their contact form only answers with template emails), and jailing limits one's options to waiting or posting in a designated forum. Ironically, site users once reported that Orkut Büyükkökten, the creator of the site himself, was jailed. The jail system is currently deactivated due to its inefficiency.

Though it is a new concept for all of us it may help us in various ways. Here we may learn from others as well as can teach others. It may add a new meaning to our life. It may help us to choose the write way and to take some critical discissions. We may find here a friend who can do much for us even from thousands of kilometers away.

The popularity of the Orkut is growing day by day. Now, it is a complete society of gentlemen where we can actively take part to live a better life and also can be a part of the same to create a e-society of e-gentlemen.
Published: 2008-01-22
Author: devojyoti borah

About the author or the publisher
Devo Jyoti Borah is a writer of Computer Science and IT mainly in assamese language. He is a regular columnist of two daily news paper and three monthly magazines. By profession he is the GM of Unika Prakashan, Jorhat. He is a professional graphics designer and he has 8 years experience in computer related fields. He has write a few articles in English. He can express any topic with his simple and unique manner. Till now he has write 10 books on Computer Science, IT and Quiz.

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