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01/23/2004 Archived Entry: "Orkut's Palace of Love"
Posted by CKL @ 02:28 PM PST

I'm not a huge fan of social networking sites, but Orkut shows more promise than the crap-fest that is Friendster. I don't anticipate spending huge amounts of time on Orkut, myself, since I'm not a teenage girl, and I'm not convinced anyone can actually make money doing this. But if anyone can figure it out, I'm sure Google can.

As always, the slashdot discussion is lively. I think comparing social networking sites to high school is somewhat pessimistic; if done properly, the mechanism by which you interact will engender no worse effects than you would experience in real life. People form cliques. Not everyone gets along. Technology won't solve that, but it may drive certain changes in how we deal with interpersonal relationships.

If, instead of having to hire a private detective, you can do a five-second web search for all of your blind date's past boyfriends and map all their acquaintances against your own network of friends, how will that information affect your interactions with her? I believe there are no absolute taboos, only societal norms, and our concept of normalcy is always in flux. Changing what we can do forces us to reexamine our ideas of what we should do. And that's often a Good Thing.

Replies: 3 comments

Ah, yet another example of fiction hinting at the future. My favorite example of this "blind date" information was in the film "Amazon Women on the Moon," where Steve Guttenberg has his nose rubbed into his sordid dating past by his prospective date, Rosanna Arquette, who runs something like a credit report on his past romances.

The Aardvark suggests this might be an empowering service. He no doubt recognizes that a tool, whatever its utility, is only as good as its actual application. A great seatbelt, unbuckled...

In any case, while not poetry and not "waldoes" or "cyberspace" or the Internet itself, it does serve as a reminder that the fantastic and the absurd have the potential to become the mundane.

Posted by Gavin @ 01/24/2004 11:27 AM PST

I am not an aardvark.

Posted by CKL @ 01/24/2004 11:49 AM PST

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