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Expanding the Circumference of Your Social Circle August 22, 2006

Posted by PagMax in Miscellaneous.

Note: This one is just a re-post with some minor updates from my yahoo 360 blog. I am just trying to move some of my earlier and most viewed blogs to wordpress.

My guess is about 1.5 million Indian youths,  living  in India, USA and other countries are on Orkut, an “online community” , to increase the “circumference of their social circle”.  It might seem like a low number when compared to about 14 million Brazilians out of about 22 million(more than 26 million at the time of this update) total Orkut members.  However, it is clear that among Indians this website is more popular than any other similar ones like myspace, yahoo 360 or hi5. Every other person from India I come across seems to be registered here.

So what is in Orkut that makes it so popular among Indians.  From my two month(now 4) experience on Orkut,  I figured out top 5 reason why Indians like Orkut.

1. No Blogging:We are not good at writing. We don’t have that creative style blended with dry and sarcastic humor. So we would rather stay away from wesbsites which asks us to Blog. Of course some unholy souls like me who think we can write but actually cannot, blog on other sites, but we are not good at it! face it.

2. No Customized View:When I walked into Subway for first time in my life all I wanted was a Sandwich.  I was so annoyed when I was given 123,456 options on my sandwich. I mean what I am paying you for? That’s the way we were brought up. We do not like to customize, just give us a decent look and we will live with it. Orkut knows that.

3. Lot of Communities:We grew up forming communities in India and that’s what we do on Orkut. You search for a word, you will find some desi dude has already created a community on that word. Your first name, last name, your dog’s middle name, date of birth..everything! Every community is filled with Indians.  Brazilians tend to hang out in their own Portuguese community, so their over-dominating presence is relatively mitigated and you will find Indian population dominating everywhere.  Of course, our Pakistani friends also create lot of communities but for some reason only Pakistanis join them.

4. Testimonials: We like to praise each other. It works on simple dynamics of scratching each others back. You testify that I am a gift to mankind and I will testify that you are the smartest person ever existed on this planet.  World would have been much better place if even 0.5% of these testimonials were true, but who cares, Orkut is a much better place!

5. Scrapping: We like to talk loudly and in public. Chatting style.  I mean just visit the streets on India. Scrapping provides just that. Its fun, its not formal email communications and you don’t have time  yourself for chatting. So what do you do, ‘Scrap it’! We are so obsessed with it that our friends congratulate us on 25th scrap, 50th scrap ..345,750th scrap. We just love it.

Update: as suggested by one of the other blogger on sparks team.

6. Girls : This could also be true for girls looking out for guys, but I can say for sure that’s not causing the rise.  Most (not all), Indian guys are in general shy, or being frank not suave enough to approach a girl for  date and most of the times girls are not receptive either for such proposals. Although, I must again note that we are moving towards west quite fast and many of the love birds out there may not identify themselves with this, but I can say for sure majority of Indians would.

However the fact remains that most of the guys feel deprived comparing themselves to the dating patterns of the west and such social networking website where one do not have to worry about their live appearance and pick-up lines, provide a decent solution. I have been told that Indian Matrimonial websites like shaadi.com also is turning into a dating website but Orkut works even better as parents do not tend to be on it.  Also, other than Indian women, Orkut hosts LOT of Brazilian women and women from all around the world for those who want to try their luck beyond the borders.

So yes, with very specific search features like dating preferences, age, location, etc..guys can find some really interesting profiles of their choice. Read her scraps, look at her pics and get an idea about how receptive she is and then eventually approach with arguably the most cliched phrase on Orkut  “Will you be my friend?”

Update 2 (Disclaimer): I have no statistical date to back up my arguments and I am not trying to characterize entire India. They are just poorly written ideas based on what I felt most of the Indians like to do. The set which are not included in that ‘most’, in itself could be very huge because we are a country of more than 1 billion people. So do not try to judge any Indian you meet on the street with this characteristics. You could be in trouble.


1. ramare - August 22, 2006

“1. No Blogging: We are not good at writing. We don’t have that creative style blended with dry and sarcastic humor. ”

why is dry and sarcastic humor good?? …………especially when not too many like it!!!

2. tismarkhan - August 23, 2006

Good point! I cannot recall exactly why I wrote that.

But I think too many like it. I missed the word subtle there but I find one difference between east and west, humor here always have a subtle sarcasm not intended to offfend anyone and thats what characterizes most of the blogs or many off-beat articles.

Again a very subjective observation..and certainly not a universal fact.

3. Shravan - August 23, 2006

“We don’t have that creative style blended with dry and sarcastic humor. ”

Wat r u talking about? we r gud at ritin … we r kingz n queenz of ritin … we r gonna b rockin the bloggin wrld… btw

do u wanna be frenz wit me?

4. shravankrish - August 23, 2006

The girls thing was just a joke. Social networking is popular all over the world. It’s just that Orkut is popular among Indians while MySpace is among Americans. BTW, lot of Indians like to eat at Subway. Also, why is “sarcastic and dry humor” a necessity for blogging? Lot of Indians blog and many of them are on serious topics, e.g., sramz.blogspot.com, my cousin’s blog. Incidentally, he’s also on Orkut.

5. tismarkhan - August 23, 2006

what a foolish ..err..uninformed..err amusing comment..! ok, now I am done with my little revenge..

I will add a update to that post…kind of disclaimer..

First..I did not really think this post would be taken so serioulsy.

especially the comment on dry and sarcastic humor and as I responded to rama, that argument is not completely strong.

There are lot of serious and informative blogs which do not need humor of any kind, it was only my impression that majority of the blogs, or blog comments are characterized by such subtle humor. again, majority, not all, and if they are on a social networking website like myspace or yahoo 360, even more. (Read some entries on ‘yahoo interesting 360 profiles’, they are no serious blogger, just some fun blogs and most of them become funny because of this sarcasm..I think)

Also, if Orkut allows people to customize their background, many would readily do that. But the point here is many reviews I got was because 360 and myspace allows customizing, they end up looking messy. From what I have heard, one reason for Orkut and Gtalk being popular is they are NEAT and somehow that quality attracts Indians. I can say for sure (without any backing) thats one of the serious reasons why its popular.

Finally, Girls. Yes, I know it was a joke. You almost sound guilty that you made me add that. NO. I know lot of other good things social networking has done even on Orkut. But again, I do not represent the entire poulation here and I am more than convinced many singles out there are here only for this purpose. I was reading somewhere that Indians also occupy lot of yahoo chatrooms hoping to hook-up with some one. and I know for sure there are many not so serious abt marriage kind of people on shaadi.com as well.
Point being, approaching through internet is certainly more popular among Indians.

oh yes, we can be friends, send me a scrap..!

6. -sk- - September 5, 2006

“It works on simple dynamics of scratching each others back.”

Shouldn’t “kissing each others asses” be more appropriate? Or, if you want to get grosser, “licking each others asses.”

It’s not that gross when you consider the origin of the phrase. In medieval Europe, if you wanted to praise someone to the skies, you’d simply go lick his donkey.

But, seriously, what’s the deal with, “Bad, bad server. No donut for you!?!?!?!” I don’t like donuts anyway.

7. tismarkhan - September 5, 2006

I love donuts but I hate when Orkut talks about it.

and I think I still like ‘back-scratching’ more because

1) It is the end-goal. I scratch your back because you can do mine and I want my back to be scratched because its itching. That is all I want. Kissing a$$ as far as I can imagine with my limited imagination does not directly help anyone. It is in hope for some other favor. I think testimonials are same like an itch. They are not given for any other favor. All they want is someone to tesify for them and hence they testify for others..!!

2) Unless you are in medival europe, kissing ass might get difficult to perform simulataneoulsy. (again limited imagination) Scartching back is very convinient that way. I have a pic on my orkut profile as well depicting that!!

8. swissreplica8 - January 15, 2007

hello. it’s a nice day for your ideas and our money

9. valerian valium - February 18, 2007

valerian valium


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