This post is more or less a continuation of the previous one, Web 2.0. It is about Orkut- another stunning example of the Web 2.0 revolution.
Orkut, as we all know is an online community which stimulates the “social animal” in a person. They define themselves, “orkut is an online community designed to make your social life more active and stimulating.”
Orkut strikes the right key with its users. You can find it as a minimized window on any 18-30 year old Indian’s desktop, at least once a day. Why so?
Orkut or any Web 2.0 product/company for that matter cannot be successful without constant user need perception, up-gradation and feedback. It is a never ending loop. There are so many portals providing similar services that differentiating becomes inevitable for sustenance.
When I first logged on to orkut in 2005, this is what it had –
Ø friends list and related features
Ø photos up to a certain limit
Ø ‘scrapping’ and messaging
Ø a simple search facility
Gradually they added these –
Ø photos up to any limit
Ø optional profile lock to keep away curious strangers
Ø recent updates from friends feature
Ø ‘ask friends’ feature for common messages
Ø blog, picasa incorporation feature
Ø integration with gmail (where ids from orkut are directly updated to one’s gmail address book
All these add-ons are certainly a result of the ‘loop’. They found that people needed to share more photos with their loved ones, so increased the photo limit; they understood that integrating the mail ids on orkut with gmail would reduce the effort to check/cross check mail ids each time; they recognized that by showing ones’ profile updates his friends can find out that he has read a new book or got married, found a new job or traveled to new places; they accepted that one needed his own privacy on a wide reaching public utility, one needed to feel free to express himself within his own boundaries!
What do I say? ‘That’s Google’ or ‘That’s the power of Web 2.0’?
The recent update from Orkut is called “Orkut applications”. It’s a huge step. Now one can share applications like games, music, videos, slideshows, books, jobs, and what not! You name it and they’ve got it!
Its like integrating all other Web 2.0 portal ideas in one, shelfaris, slide.coms, snapfishes, monsters, cricinfos, bollywood4us, again, you name it!!
Of course, in the process the users gain, but what’s in store for business?
Tim O’Reilly put it aptly,
“Web 2.0 is the understanding that the network is the platform and on the network as the platform, the rules for business are different. The cardinal rule is this one – Users add value. Figuring out how to build databases that get better when more people use them is actually the secret source of every Web 2.0 company.”
Need I say more?