Friday, September 08, 2006

Friendster, Hi5 and Orkut

Have you ever heard of Hi5? No? Maybe you've heard of Friendster? Neither? Orkut maybe? Nay? You're kidding right....

They are social networking websites. They typically allow you to have a profile, a photo album, an online journal etc... Their particularity lies in the fact that you can "connect" to your friends and your friends’ friends hence the networking part. As far as the networking part is concerned, those sites are very powerful, amazingly powerful. You're wondering what this old school buddy of yours you haven't seen in over 10 years have become? Chances are he kept in touch with someone who's a relative of a good friend of one of your friends’ friends and he's connected to him on Hi5 or Friendster and what do you know, while you're browsing your friend's friends' network you come across his profile and that's where you see he's grown a full beard and has married his long time girlfriend -or whatever it is that you find out that he's been up to-

I have a Friendster account and not one but two Hi5 accounts and also an Orkut account - thank you Dozy ;) -.

Most of my friends as in real life friends from Haiti are on Hi5. In fact there is a really large number of Haitians on Hi5, young, old, if they have an email that they actually use, it is very likely that they are also on Hi5 where they usually take the time to put a few pictures and write about themselves, it's amazing I've come across profiles of old classmates I had not seen in years.... If you are Haitian Hi5 is the social networking site for you.

Friendster? It’s more of the same but where are the Haitians? They’re all on Hi5 so you will find very few of them on Friendster. Of all the people located in Haiti that are on Friendster the vast majority is not Haitian.

I've come to Friendster completely by "accident" and if you go on my profile now you'll see that I don't even have a single friend but and it's a major BUT, somehow I managed to meet one person on there. Actually I probably should say, somehow someone managed to find me... I've only been contacted by a few people on Friendster, a hand is too much to count them but only one actually was interested in staying in touch with me and ultimately meeting me! He's from Sri Lanka and he's working here in Haiti. We communicate mostly via email. We're supposed to meet in the weeks to come. - Don’t get any ideas now…-

Nevertheless, those websites are not for meeting people - even if they claim otherwise-, yes it might happen since they allow you not only to view the profiles of other members but also to contact them and all this absolutely free. The only "problem" is that most of those members are not there to meet new people. No, they are there to keep in touch with their friends, people they already know. Therefore, if you try initiating contact with a person you do not know he/she will most likely not answer you or respond negatively. On Hi5 I never accept requests or answer messages from people I don't recognize unless it's a woman.

As for Orkut, it's a quite "closed" environment and I've not seem advertisement so it's rather sober. I've not been an Orkut member for long but I have one friend and as you've guessed it, it's Dozy. Also I've come across Sudhu's profile -how? I don't remember- but he is distantly connected to me via Dozy's network, which means he knows people who know people who know people [...] who know Dozy, at least that's what Orkut says.

Of the people I've mentioned on this blog, you can spot Nick on Friendster, Sudhu on Orkut, Dozy on Orkut and Hi5 , Basam on Hi5, Ravi on Hi5.

1 comment:

Leslie Lim said...
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