Monday, September 29, 2014

Chp 530. Orkut - The end of an era


Some of us may remember how much time we used to spend on mIRC, hi5, Myspace, Friendster and all those other threaded discussion forums (zoram.com, izawl.com, zawlbuk.net etc). Man those were some memorable times wasted cherished at such social networking sites.

One such competitor back then was Orkut in 2004.


I can say with surety that I am one of the early Indian members of Orkut. I got an invitation from my college classmate Jason to join Orkut back in 22nd May, 2004, four months after it was launched.


Remember Orkut back then was invitation-only. We had just graduated from Engineering college that time, and while most of my batchmates were working in the IT sector in Hyderabad, I was in Hyderabad doing my CAT coaching class.

Some unconfirmed sources claimed that Orkut started spreading in India mainly because of Hyderabad where a lot of the IT crowd got to interact with their American counterparts, hence the invitations. Plausible reason, I guess.

If you want to find out when you joined Orkut (since it is not possible to know from your account), you can simply search your mail account which you used to register or got an invitation from (hopefully, you haven’t deleted it).

Back in the early 2004, there weren’t that many Indians on Orkut. But as Orkut slowly started picking up, enter the smooth-talking egomaniac orkutiya, the ones who would randomly send a cheesy fraaand invitation to any female profile they came across and not afraid to verbally abuse one if she ignored him. Their scraps were full of craps.*badamtsss*

Back then, two of my closest friends in Hyderabad were Kini (who went on to become a popular VJ slash DJ) and Adonica (who went on to become a popular RJ, a model and even acted in a couple of Telugu movies like Romeo and Aravind 2).


As you can see, they’re both attractive and so they used to receive a lot of friend requests and corny pick-up lines from strangers, most of them with horrible grammar and spellings. We would just spend the afternoons reading their mails and laughing at the over-confident, aggressive and abusive ones, until I suddenly suggested about making a community around it.

And so, “Worst pick-up lines of Orkut” was born!


[Haha, I know, my graphic design sucks, but remember I made that in 2004. Back then, people love that kinda design]

Initially, I created the community only for our group of friends like Kini, Addy, Shruti, Pawan, etc who would post the corny pick-up lines they received. Suddenly, in a matter of days, the community went viral and hundreds of Indians joined! A lot of people too shared the corny pick-up lines they received, and soon it was a community where people played word games, movie trivia etc. I had to appoint moderators from among the active members to help me manage the content.

The Times of India published an article about Orkut back then, mentioning the ten most popular Indian communities in Orkut, and my Worst pick-up line community was SECOND, right below the community “INDIA”. Whoahhh, none of us saw that coming. In fact, if you search on Google with the keywords “Worst pick up lines of Orkut”, till now, the first result on Google search is the community that I created!

And then IIM-B happened, and I was caught up in this and that, assignments here and there, I started showing more interest in blogging and no longer had the time to manage the community. And even though many people left, as of today, there are still 6040 members in that community (of which I’m sure the active members would be zero, lolz).

Now, 10 years after its inception, Orkut is finally coming to an end.

Tomorrow, September 30, 2014, Orkut will finally be decomissioned. RIP Orkut.

During these 10 years, a lot of things happened. Today, according to mediabistro, the largest social networking sites in order of monthly active users are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, YouTube and blogs.

Orkut itself underwent major redesigning two times, one in 2005 and another in 2007. For those of us who had been using Orkut since 2004, it was indeed a big change. An option to change background themes was introduced in 2008, and seriously, that was sooo oldskool :) Luckily, I had long shifted to Facebook when that happened.

What I liked about Orkut was the “Testimonials”. Haha, I am print-screening some of the testimonials I received here on my blog to remember the good times before it is gone for good! :)

Just for the sake of walking down memory lane, here is the first testimonial I received. It’s from Kini back in June 1, 2004. It currently shows as “Anonymous” because she had deleted her profile a long time ago.


The next two “Anonymous” testimonials are from Priyanka my Engineering college classmate and Sonam, my senior at IIM-B who was more like an older brother to me, advising me and guiding me whether it was about academics or extra-curricular activities.


I’ll just include one more testimonial, and this one is from Pawan. We had just met around that time and became close friends quickly.


Dayymm, I’m so glad to be still in touch with most of these friends even today. Those were the cyber café days, sitting in a sweaty dingy cyber café glancing frequently at the bottom corner of the screen to keep a tab on the time spent, while the guy sitting next to you is slowly turning his monitor away from you because he’s probably browsing through some shady sites.

Unlikely most people, I actually don’t post a lot of pictures on social media, probably because I have a premium photobucket account where I upload photos meant for my blog. I have uploaded only NINE photos on Orkut during the entire time I was using it from 2004, lolz. And four of those were pictures from my blog and misual.com where I was interviewing some reputed people in our Mizo community.












The other five photos are quite random…

One is a group photo of my cousins at my cousin’s wedding…



Another is me with another cousin and her friends on our way to “Bial Inkhawmpui” Church service…



The next one is me showing off the Arsenal goodies my sis got for me from UK…



And then there’s this really random sunrise photo I took from my balcony back home…



And finally there is this cute BRO (Border Road Organization) road sign I saw on our way to our farm at Neihbawih…


And those are all the photos I have on Orkut. Backed up now on my blog.

Hope you too have backed-up all your Orkut uploads. Google Take-out is one good method to do that. Do it before it’s too late. In fact, tonight let’s all get back to Orkut and party like its 2004! :) Yayyyy, fraaand requests incoming, one last time! Wooohoooo! :D