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February 03, 2004


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Brad Templeton

Some notes:

a) On privacy -- the list of people who tried to reach you is two-edged,
you may want to point that out, because it gathers my list of friends,
and somebody else might come and get it, but it is pretty useful.

b) All these ideas and many others are good, and I have my own lists
of useful features, but there's some huge feature creep and it will
be tough for the people doing this software to cherry pick.

c) I have notes in the orkut forum (I presume you posted this there)
about dealing with people you don't remember. It doesn't work to force
me to send them a note saying "where do I know you from?" because if
you forgot them it's still embarassing. You need to establish a principle
in advance that people doing an invite include where they know you from.

Unless they are intimate friends.

d) On dating/non-dating, I agree that we don't want to see that our
business associate is in an open marriage. However I am not sure the
moded UI (you are either in biz mode or dating mode) will fly. I had
big plans for such modes, on backburner for now.

A better idea would be to only show you dating info on people who are
potential dates. Ie. if you are an M seeking F, you only see dating
info of F seeking Ms. People want the serendipity of knowing, "Oh, that
women I met at the conference is single and looking?"

Best of all it doesn't require new UI.

The other big thing with Orkut is going to be the FoF spam. The mail
volume must be limited some way. We've got many thousands of FoF it

Alan Wexelblat

Good advice overall. You might want to take a fast look at how phpbb does polls (re your "polling inside groups" note). It's integrated into the comment posting interface so you can very quickly turn any entry into a poll, with a few simple options.

I'd also be interested in seeing your comments on pay vs. free membership options.

Adam Rifkin

Fantastic post, Christopher. I'll never again claim you only flog Orkut; you're very fair and constructive with your observations, too!

Michael Weiksner

What do you think about the political applications of friendster-like sites? Think how it helps solve the problems associated with the ghetto email petitions of the past, and how it could create a non-intrusive, viral fundraising medium. Do you agree with me?

Given the multiple kinds of ways that people want to use social software (e.g., business networking, dating, politics), will there be specific sites for each kind of activity or will there be some sharing model?

Anyway, we're thinking about leveraging this trend and it would be helpful to get your thoughts as we consider build vs. partnering, etc.

David Jenness

FriendBlend is another new social networking site you might want to take a look at - it combines match-making with blogs, moblogs, online photo sharing and a lot of the group features such as polling and quizes that you mention. Great post!

Social Networking

another cool site to check out is for College Social Networking is http://www.collegester.com . Also a hip site for Lloyd Banks is worth peaking at..... I've seen the Social Networking Software for sell at http://www.bestnetsoftware.com for those interested in starting their own social networking site or community!!


my friend http://www.ryanleslie.com is planning a social networking site for musicians

Pepe B.

is virtually unknown in the US but becoming very popular in Spain and Latin America, and they're becoming a trend-setter, integrating email groups (a la YahooGroup but perhaps even more customizable), social networking tools and online auctions. A weird combination that however it seems to be working ok so far.


This is kind of a neat personals site that's looking to add in social network functionality. Email through the site if you're interested in partnerships.

Marc L GatedOnlineCommunities.com

Hi...I put up a site dedicated to the social networking niche of gated online communities at


Any comments on the subject are appreciated!

Thanks Marc

Alice Mike

Eerst Europa Doelstellingen: De Ci2i Verzekering (Ci2i) zal het nummer een gebrandmerkte pan Europese commoditized online verzekeringsmakelaar door 2010 zijn.


Thanks for posting this your section about privacy is very useful. There are some issues regarding privacy and social networking sites that have not been addressed properly and may cause the downfall of social networking sites such as stalkers and identity fraudsters.

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