It has been a month now that Orkut died. Many of you would probably not really care about. But few rare ones, like me, are yet to recover. I, for one, still involuntarily land on Orkut.com and then feel like a fool realizing that it has been shut.
True, Orkut died because of its own problem. To think that it would survive without innovating was suicidal. But that does not take away from the fact that Orkut did have its own elements; ones that made Orkut an intrinsic part of our lives for years.
Listing out 10 things that made Orkut so special…
1) It told us what it felt to have ‘fans’.
No, you could not have forgotten about this one. Orkut not only connected you with long lost friends, it suddenly made you feel like a star. You always wanted more people to be your fans!
2) It told us to select wisely.
Orkut put a cap on the number of friends you could add and the number of photos you could upload. It was like the days of film photography, when you needed to be really careful while clicking pictures. Now with Facebook you can upload any number of photographs…
3) Being competitive about number of scraps.
You cannot deny wanting to be ahead in number of scraps received. The competition to be the first one to get 1000 scraps, 5000 scraps and so on.
4) Check the last five visitors
You could always check who were the last five visitors to have checked your profile. And for boys, a visit by a beautiful girl would make his day!
Of course Orkut later disabled the function. But that only meant that you could checkout the profile of the girl or boy who had a crush on without him getting to know. Yes, we have all been through that! It would not be too much to say that some people hunted matches for matrimonial purposes… I know a friend of mine did. Well, a very close friend of mine is actually married to a girl had first checked out on Orkut!
5) Meet strangers in random groups.
Like we mentioned Orkut got us connected to long lost school friends. But it also introduced us to some total strangers who went on to become trusted friends. Trust me, Fried Eye came into existence because of such friendships!
Long before LinkedIn kicked in and we started asking for recommendations from professional acquaintances, Orkut had the most amazing feature called testimonials. You could take pride in the testimonials your friends wrote about you. They were precious. Our lives and reputation depended on them! Sounds quite stupid now, but they meant the world then. I was in fact made to sign up on Orkut so that I could write a testimonial for my best friend. Okay, he wrote one for me too!
7) Getting the share of gossip from scraps
It did have the message feature but for certain unknown reasons people often ended scrapping each other. Scraps that were then out in the open for the world to see. You could always get to know who a person is talking to by just scrolling down his scrapbook.
8) Today’s fortune
On dull days when you would have little entertainment, Orkut’s Today’s fortune would often make you laugh. I would not be surprised if many among us actually tried finding logic in those completely random predictions.
9) Visiting the neighborhood cyber cafe just to check Orkut.
Internet was not quite available in every household when Orkut started out. It is another matter that by the time Orkut died, you have internet on our phones… but back then we actually visited those neighborhood cyber cafes to check Orkut. Waste of money, you think? Well, back then it was all justified!
10) Simple life, simple site
Back in those days when Orkut was at it peak, social media was just about scrapping and staying in touch. It was yet to be complicated by the desire to have more likes and shares. More importantly it was yet to be the hunting ground of companies. Today we see the current rulers trying to sell products to you every second you are on the site. Orkut that way was just a friend who benefited from our presence but did not make a product out of us itself.
Orkut was the buddy when FB was too complicated… don’t we agree? Yes, true it is over and will not be a part of our future lives. But Orkut will certainly remain an amazing part of our lives.