My Orkut invite

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This a.m. I got an invite to join Google's currently invitation only social network: Orkut.

I was equally flattered, cheered and bemused, uncertain.

If self-esteem were fuel my high-octane ego could power a small city, well, at least a fast racecar. Perhaps that belongs in the past tense. While the young man who fancied himself the heir of all the preceding intellectual forces may discover proportion he isn't apt to be able to see himself as a meager thing.

Anyway, I was tickled to get the invite. An extended kindness trumps egomania. It made my morning. Ten thousandish visitors a day is enough to satisfy any writer of weblogs (even if many of my hits arrive by wily, manipulative means). A hundred thousand strangers don't compare to the email from: the femme boy who feels that one man cares, the crossdresser who grew up a few blocks from me back in Savannah, the writer who enjoyed my words about his book. And the implicit recognition when someone with none of those axes to polish signals you to come on in.

I'm asocial. When I was young it would've been antisocial. For a time my disgust with my fellow man was pushed aside by gregariousness born equally of curiosity and a desire to screw fey young things with round bottoms. Sex isn't an equalizer: it is a bulldozer. As libido's role in my life as risen and faded so has some of my interest in my fellow man (well, not quite, but that digression is too large for this entry).

Let me try again. I'm not social. Drop me on a desert island and include books (I'd appreciate my CDs and a power source) and food to eat and I'd get along better than most people. I'd soon be talking to myself. Or do I do that already?

How will I fit into a social network like Orkut? If this were a few years ago I'd be hungry to master it. As I've recounted I used gay.com, AOL, Yahoo and damnifiknow what all to meet guys. Since that is how I (as IlikeFrailGuys) met Charles I guess it (sigh) succeeded.

Romantic and erotic forces aren't impelling me now (yet). I wasn't up to strength this morning when I made my first stab at filling out my Orkut profile (part of which felt like Match.com). I know it'll nag at me so I'll flesh it out soon.

I'm already uncomfortable with part of it: you have to say how friendly you are with your friend. (I'm similarly uncomfortable with XFN and FOAF.) On Live Journal I avoided the friends list except for androgynous and transgendered people. Really I'd prefer to be able to say this is an agreeable, likeable person. My best friend will never join Orkut. He doesn't have a PC in his home and never will.

I'd say that I miss the Live Journal interests lists but possibly some kindred list is available on Orkut. I'll certainly join a few communities. (Just joined four: sapiosexuality, gay marriage, gay monogamy and one for people without a strong sense of gender (yep, mine is pretty fixed but my esteem for those whose isn't has been repeated here almost too often).

Did take a quick look at Orkut's member search. It looks very much like any dating service. To be fair you can search for friends and business networking. You can also search for people to date. No way to search on sexual orientation. Seems a heterosexist assumption. Perhaps if you are a guy searching for another guy sexual orientation is taken it to account (pansexual isn't an option, I chose gay).

Thankfully most Orkutians use photos of themselves. A few have the damned cartoons and TV personalities. I'd say presenting yourself as one of the stars of Saved By the Bell is as good a disqualifier as sending an "a/s/l" IM. Guess I need to work on getting a new photo (eventually).

I decide to do a search and it does look like sexuality is accounted for. Of my five matches, four were gay, one didn't say so I guess he's in the closet (damn they are too young).

Usually as I'm typing away and grow tired of it some closing appears in my mind and I conclude with it. Not with Orkut. Probably questions about my own life than with Internet social networks.

I couldn't see a way to search Orkut for "richardevanslee." I'm first name "Richard Evans" and last name "Lee."

Comments

Welcome back! I’ve missed reading your pleasant, thoughtful commentaries. Hope you’re well on the road to recovery.

I would be interested in hearing about Sexuality and Orkut… A while ago I read about a “lesbian” group that specifically excluded “men and bisexual women” … but it was founded by a guy!

Jokes about the lesbian-identifying male “Lisa” on the L Word aside, I’d like to hear how google’s attempt at an already silly (er, until I get an invite) idea of online communities…

Well, I’m one of those with a damned cartoon for my photo as well :P Believe it or not, I only have 2 digitally scanned photos of myself and a crummy scanner I’m too lazy to get fired up to see if it even does still work!

Anyway, imho, Orkut isn’t that much of a social network as it is a “what the hell can I do now that I’m in this thing” kinda thing. Or perhaps I’m just missing out on the action.

?what the hell can I do now that I?m in this thing?

That is how I feel right now. I have this feeling I’m not being responsible in neglecting my profile.

Thom,

A quick check of Orkut’s Romance and Relationship communities doesn’t reveal any surprises. BDSM, prettiest female/male members, oral sex, down to “I’m Friends With Hot Chicks.”

The communities don’t seem to have large memberships. (Well “Gay Marriage” has three hundred but that is a big issue for some of us right now). My guess is that the idea is that you will find friends or whatever by looking at your friends’ friends.

Playing with the search for members feature I see there are a dozen gay men within 50 miles of me. Not many but Orkut’s invitation only nature is keeping the membership small.

The guys are either very young or don’t state their age, show a picture. But that age bias is an aspect of the web I’ve grown used to. Seemed even more pronounced on Orkut than something more open like Yahoo. “Nobody loves you when you are old and gay” as the Tom Robbin’s song so clearly put it. (Don’t take that too seriously.)

Until I flesh out my Orkut user profile and been a member for awhile I won’t be able to evaluate it meaningfully.

Gay women have historically been hostile, suspicious of bisexual women. Also true of gay men. I didn’t check but if there’s an exclusionary community there’s probably one that is more open. The guy may have just been trying to do the women a favor. I created a Live Journal community for feminine gay men even though I’m not one myself.

Hey dude can I get an invite? that would rock thanks man! peace… orkut or gmail beta either one would be appreciated thanks!

I would appreciate if someone of you sends me an invite to Arkut. I have been reading a lot about this site but never got a chance to see what it is.

Thank you

Hello everybody , please someone send a invie to me to partcipate to orkut !! please !!

hi, i was wondering if i could get an invite to orkut as well. my email is iwantorkut@yahoo.com (ya, i made it so i wouldnt get any more spam than i already do on my regular email :P). if you could help me out, that’d be great. thanks!

Hi.

I’d love an Orkut invite.

I’m a GWM age 34.

Your feelings?

Please share your feelings about My Orkut invite.
Thanks,
Richard

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