« PieSpy: Java Tool for Inferring and Visualizing Social Networks on IRC |
| Orkut Launch: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly »
January 24, 2004
Orkut: Brief notes
seems to be exploding -- people are joining at a rapid rate, albeit from a still-tiny base (my 40 friends link me to 6500 or so people, whereas on Friendster, 15 friends link me to 300,000+.) Their "you gotta be invited to get in" thing seems to be creating just the right sense of 'red velvet rope' to drive traffic, and the fact that it's Google-sponsored can't be bad for business.
They've also made it incredibly easy to declare a link to someone already in the system, meaning that even as more users are joining, average path length is falling. It was 4.4 a few hours ago, and its down to 3.8 now.
Another interesting detail: they let you do link-by-link path traversal, as in "Show me Liz's friends, let me select one, then show me Liz's friend's friends" and so on. I was wondering how deep they'd let me go (4, 5, or 6 degrees, basically), but they recalculate paths dynamically, so everytime I'd get a path like Clay->Liz->Sam and click on one of Sam's friends, it would recalculate to soemthing like Clay->Greg->Sam's Friend.
I finally walked off the end of a 5 link traversal, and started just seeing random people with no link calculation (which feels like a violation of the premise of FOAF networks -- "Only let me see and be seen by people who are within N degrees"), but it took some time. The nework *feels* much denser than Friendster or LinkedIn, which is to say fewer people with single digit connectivity, but I don't have a global view, so I can't yet say for sure.
There is an _incredible_ amount of activity around adding friends on the system right now; my mailbox is mostly Orkut notifications. I wonder if all social services will suffer from the difference between the dollhouse pleasures of setting things up ("ooh, and I know _this_ person and _this_ person and _this_ person...") and the rarity of actual use. I have gotten far more requests to link on LinkedIn, for example, than actual requests for use (user since launch, 54 connections, 3 total requests for actually use for the service.)
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: social software
- RELATED ENTRIES
- Spolsky on Blog Comments: Scale matters
- "The internet's output is data, but its product is freedom"
- Andrew Keen: Rescuing 'Luddite' from the Luddites
- knowledge access as a public good
- viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace
- Gorman, redux: The Siren Song of the Internet
- Mis-understanding Fred Wilson's 'Age and Entrepreneurship' argument
- The Future Belongs to Those Who Take The Present For Granted: A return to Fred Wilson's "age question"