I wondered what was the fuzz about Orkut.

After reading a few gripes around the blogosphere -- just Google for Orkut -- it clearly did not turn me on. Actually, I stumbled on its terms of use and found a clear turn down for me:

By submitting, posting or displaying any Materials on or through the orkut.com service, you automatically grant to us a worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicenseable, transferable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right to copy, distribute, create derivative works of, publicly perform and display such Materials.

Needless to say, what they mean about Materials is everything down to every single bit you send to their servers and, yes, it includes your personal information. The privacy policy doesn't reassure me:

At any time, you can terminate your account which will remove your profile and other personal information from view. Contact admin@orkut.com to terminate your account or for any other questions about your personal information.

If I get this well, terminating my account will simply remove my personal information from sight, but not from the system -- and if they have been reused as "Materials", they're out forever. Let me think about it but this whole thing doesn't seem compliant with neither the French nor the European laws regarding personal data protection.

But, nowadays, I guess you cannot escape from the pressure of your online friends and this "social software" tide. Two days ago, Dave Pollard invited me on Orkut (thanks Dave!). Then, in the following 24 hours, I received six more invitations (wait, there's one more as I'm writing this, OK, yes, yes, François is my friend too, sure). And waitaminit! I have three fans? Wow, fans, for real? You flagged me not just because Orkut's quite manichean sense of relationship is that you're either a friend or not a friend and you wanted more subtlety? Anyway, I'm touched, dear fans.

As I wrote above, it's hard to escape from this pressure. For once because I'm supposed to know about those supposedly geeky things. But, more insidiously, because once you've been trapped in Orkut, it looks like there is no turning back without prejudice. How on earth could I send the message that, no, I'm not your friend! to all the people who have invited me? Put your finger, let the arm go...

Now that I have put Orkut's anal probe on my profile, I'm going to wait and see if this giant orgy ends in a collective orgasm (that's what orkut means in Finnish slang). It's not that I don't catch it, but I did the online dating thing on the Minitel 20 years ago. Wouldn't I have loved something like this back then, you bet (although picking strangers through a videotex interface had its own cachet). Growing older changes one's view in strange ways, like suddenly finding LinkedIn more interesting than Orkut.

I wonder if I'm going to have new fans after that.

1 Comment

i want a Gmail account .Can you help me?

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