Since I joined the Orkut community, I have been noticing a lot of hits coming to this site from Orkut. I couldn’t help, but thinking and searching about Orkut.

Orkut is a social networking site designed by Orkut Büyükkökten – a turkish software engineer – as a personal project in Google. It has grown into a phenomenon with the help of netizens, dedicating their time and “relationships”. But I was particularly intrigued by one of the most important aspect of any social network. Privacy!

Reading through the fine-print, I understand the privacy of our personal information (date of birth, address, phone etc.) is safe with Google (unless we choose to publish it – then there is no question of ‘privacy’). After going through many articles, and spending some time in Orkut, my opinion is that privacy in Orkut depends on one of the basic elements of social networks – trust.

There is a new feature in Orkut – mutual friends – which is something worth looking at. It creates inexplicit communities. You can traverse through this ‘mutual friends’ to get a complete picture of the community you are interested in. I am reminded of the efforts we spent in ‘customer grouping’, ‘householding’ activities in many Customer Relations Management (CRM) projects. Again, this feature works only in our friend circles, and that’s good.

For these reasons, whenever I logon to Orkut, I imagine the O as a circle, a circle of trust, and that it comes first.