(Hat Tip: Pramod)
For those of you who don't know, Opera is Firefox's older sister who was unable to get a date with Google, although her younger (and more wild sister) Firefox had a little more success "in that arena."
Guilherme Campos it seems has designed a widget for Opera users allowing them to search Orkut forums, friends and everything else in between. You will need to download Opera in order to use this widget (which you can place anywhere on your screen).
After installing you should notice a small "O" (for Orkut) on your screen:
Simply double click on it and a new frame window should pop up in view, making Orkut life easier.
I'm not a heavy Opera user myself (since Firefox came into my life) but it does come up as a nice backup just in case FireFox and IE are both down on your computer.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
(Hat Tip: Pramod)
Thursday, October 26, 2006
While I was out and about today, finding out what was happening in life via Google News Mobile, I wondered whether or not if I could surf Orkut via my mobile phone (since Facebook, currently popular in America allows you to do this).
To my surprise I discovered that mobile is not available for Orkut yet as Google states:
Currently, orkut.com isn't compatible with mobile devices. To access your orkut profile, please try logging in using your computer's web browser.
Being the natural geek that I am, I started googling for "alternative results" and discovered Opera Mini which allows you to view the web through their mini browser. You need to make sure the browser can work in your phone first, and if so, have fun.
Unfortunately I was out of luck with Opera, and tried experimenting with Widsets instead. Widsets seems to be a great program, although my phone was not very pleased with the java it spit at me.
So, basically I am mobiless on Orkut, but if anyone is able to get any of these programs to work for their phone (AND log onto Orkut) let us all know by posting here.
Google is responding back to the negative criticism that it has received from the press, and at the same time is asking users to help keep Orkut clean.
(Keep Orkut Beautiful) We love orkut just as much as you do, and we want to keep it fun and clean -- or, as we like to call it, beautiful. Some of the attention orkut has received in the Brazilian media recently has given the impression that our community is rife with illegal activity and discontented users.
Any active orkut user realizes that this characterization is simply false, that our site's very success has always been driven by our members' ability to create the engaging content and communities which comprise the bulk of orkut's population and content. In fact, orkut's top 50 communities, with more than 37 million total members and nearly 1.3 million daily visitors, have no illegal content whatsoever.
Google also seems to be cooperating with law enforcement more closely, which may be why the number of black market Orkut sites that I come across has been decreasing recently.
This may be because more users are reporting these groups (I have, at least with child predators) or perhaps because the American Feds are becoming more aggressive within social networking circles.
On interesting note is that Google admits that the number of Orkut membership is above 37 million with the top 50 forums. I wonder how many people Google really has on Orkut?
Update: Forgot to add this link about Google wanting your help in keeping Orkut clean.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
For those of you who don't know, Orkut Media is Orkut's official magazine highlighting (mostly American) politics, culture and for the lonely love advice from Lexy.
Now, Lexy is not a saint (by any stretch) and she does not write articles geared with a family audience in mind. She does however answer a lot of off the wall questions regarding sex that most people would not be brazen enough to ask their parents, religious leader, or
any respectable politician community leaders in town.
Probably in order to protect themselves from future lawsuits, it seems that Google has placed some "discretionary advisor" text in red for users to warn viewers before they open the Pandora's box.
Lexy is one of many writers of Orkut Media, and although not my favorite (Jen Sala holds that title) she probably is a favorite among many Orkut readers for various reasons.
Regarding Orkut Media, is it me or does Google need a developers blog on the site?
(Hat Tip: The Blog Herald)
It seems that Firefox 2.0 has just launched and I was eager to see which Orkut hacks work within the new browser.
Although many of them seem to not function too well in the new Firefox, Orkut Scrapper and Vijay's Scrapbook and Forum Searcher seem to be functioning quite well.
Because of the recent changes on Orkut, you may need to update other non-Firefox programs in order to make like easier on Google's forums.
For those of you who use Orkut Cute, version 8.3 is available for download.
Users of Scrapboy will have to do nothing (as your program should have updated automatically). But if you are experiencing trouble, you can download a new version here.
If you come across any other programs/hacks that have either new updates or are working with Firefox 2.0, let me know by commenting below.
Monday, October 23, 2006
(Hat Tip: Binny)
I came across this over the weekend (but was too busy to post about it until now). Orkut has apparently introduced a feature that allows users to find other people with similar interests. Here is a screen shot that Binny provided me on my scrapbook.
Although this may be new to many users, this is an old feature from the old Blogger (as it is not in the new beta yet) as one can see here.
It seems as if Google is introducing several "networking features" inside Orkut which may be a result of Google's features, not products meeting led by co-founder Sergey Brin.
I wonder if the Orkut engineers would consider adding Gtalk to not only Orkut, but also installing it on the Orkut Friend Map as it would enable users to not only see who is online, but chat with them as well (hint, hint).
Anyone who uses Orkut (at least recently) has probably noticed the colorful change on the home page.
Although the new logo reflects Google's celebration of Diwali, it probably is a hat tip regarding Orkut's explosive growth amongst India's population, which may surpass America and challenge Brazil for dominance (which has been decreasing recently).
According to Alexa (which must be taken with a grain of salt) Orkut is ranked in 11th place worldwide.
Despite its position, Orkut is not very popular in the US. In fact it doesn't even appear on the top 100 list, as both MySpace and Facebook have left little room for any other social network (although Google's newly bought YouTube may help the search engine king in this arena).
Although failing in the US, Orkut seems to be a huge success not only in Brazil, but also in India, with Orkut.com surpassing Google India traffic wise.
This may be a good thing for Google as they are looking for qualified positions within India something they are finding to be easier said than done.
Friday, October 20, 2006
(Hat Tip: Digital Inspiration)
After opening the gates, it seems that Orkut has created several more changes to Orkut (making it even better).
Dream Chaser has the scoop (with screen shots) on this one.
(Hat Tip: Mitanshu)
Thanks to Mitanshu for telling me about this! It appears that Orkut Invites are no longer needed in order to sign up for Orkut.
All you need now is a Google account and an honest heart (okay, so maybe the former and hopefully the latter).
Instead of hunting around for free Orkut invites, or buying one over priced on eBay, simply log on with your Google Account (or create one if you are not apart of the club).
Google will then ask you to create an Orkut account which will hook into your Google account (yes, slightly tedious, but you will be allowed to switch it to a different Google account later on if you prefer).
Although this removes Orkut as an exclusive club, this will hopefully bring in more traffic and eventually allow Orkut to compete with the king of social networks (at least in the US) MySpace (which is really ugly in my opinion).
Update: Also noticed this but forgot to mention it (although Mitanshu did on his blog). Google is now allowing Orkut users to choose who they can get friend requests from based on language.
Although a minor feature, this may cut down on the friend requests from Brazil (but then again, most Brazillians are friendly people and I don't mind translating their messages).
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Note: I have not had much time to review Orkut forums and highlight them this week, although I will try to catch up next week (as well as any hacks that I see).
I came across this site from a scrap by Elektra. The site is currently down right now (at least for me) but it should be back up pretty soon.
The name of the site is called Torperkut, and it seems to allow you to browse Orkut undetected. It is also equipped with a chat room feature, although unless you speak Portuguese very well you may not find many friends inside.
Basically it seems to be a Brazilian proxy for Orkut, probably created for either political, personal or business (i.e. spamming) reasons.
The site seems secure to my knowledge (as in it does not appear to be a phisher) although you may have to verify that for yourself.
I will upload some screen shots of the site later on (if it is working for me) although if anyone else has (or is) able to try it out, let me know your thoughts about it below.
Update (11/1): Corrected spelling of Torperkut as well as links.
Monday, October 16, 2006
This searcher tries to search for a specific text in a community topic, by traversing through the various posts in the page. If the searcher finds the text in any of the posts, it highlights the text in red, wherever it occurs in the page. Else it proceeds to the next page by following the 'Next >' link. If you want to search more after the text is found, just click the 'Next >' link on the top or bottom right. The searcher will automatically start searching the remaining pages, until it find the same text again. Hope you enjoy this script!
You can download the script over here, and if you have any suggestions, problems or just want to stop by and say thanks, you can post your thought's on Matrix Chronicle (Vijay's weblog).
Related: Google Your Scrapbook (Orkut Scrapbook Searcher)
It was not for creating the profile, but rather what was on the profile itself.
Save yourself n save others has a photo from the Mumbai Mirror, although a search on their site does not pull up the story.
However, a quick Google search was able to reveal the full story online.
(Moneycontrol India) Youth misuses classmate's profile, posts lewd scraps
He is caught following the girl's complaint
A Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) student of Thane was arrested on Thursday for creating a classmate's profile and uploading her picture with offensive messages on an online community site without her permission.
The cyber cell of the Thane police got into the act following a complaint by a girl that someone had created her profile on Orkut.com with her picture and posted lewd messages. Within 48 hours the culprit was nabbed.
The police seemed to have a difficult time locating the culprit as the Orkut server was located in Sweden (really?) Thanks to Yahoo!, they were able to track down the culprit's yahoo address and via IP locate his exact location within India.
Moral of the story: Don't harass girls on Orkut, and don't use Yahoo! if you do (although Google may report you as well).
Update: Fixed some grammer issues.
I guess this makes three Orkut toolbars available (the previous ones mentioned here and here).
What makes this one distinct from previous versions is that it has a built in chat client inside of the toolbar (which is fun for the first five minuets--until you realize you are the only one on).
It also comes with a radio player, which may help pass the time while you are on Orkut.
You can dowload this new Orkut Toolbar over here. Firefox users may have some difficulty installing this toolbar, but you should be able to get this program up and running (simply follow the instructions on the site).
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Some of my greatest tips, jokes, etc. come through my scrapbook.
Now searching for past messages is even better, now thanks to Vijay's new GreaseMonkey hack which allows you to "Google" your scrapbook (something Google needs to add to the future version of Orkut).
(Matrix Chronicle) I am going to introduce you to the 'Scrapbook Searcher' userscript for Orkut. This can be used to search scrapbooks, for a specific text. What the script will do is, search for the text in the scraps of the present page, and highlight the searched text in red if the text is found. If it cannot find the search text, it will start scanning the 'Next' page on the scrapbook.
This hack requires GreaseMonkey which is built for Firefox users (sorry IE friends). Once installed, simply type in the word or phrase that you are searching for...
...and the words will appear in red as shown below.
This is case sensitive, so you will need to be specific in what you are looking for. This hack does have one cosmetic but, which may make Orkut Scrapper 2.0 look funny in the live preview mode (which goes away as soon as you type).
Aside from that, this looks like a great tool to use. Thanks Vijay!
Update: You can download the GreaseMonkey script over here and if you come across any bugs report it on Vijay's blog. Added this hack to the sidebar under Orkut User Tools.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I have been preoccupied with other things this past week, but hopefully I'll be able to post some info tonight, as well as interesting forums that I've discovered.
Anyways here are news worthy items you may have come across throughout this week (or maybe not).
Via India Uncut:
Indian court goes after Orkut
(DNA India) BANGALORE: Google's online community web site Orkut has run into trouble for "spreading hatred against the country".
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court, comprising Justice AP Deshpande and Justice RM Borde, issued notice to Google last week following a public interest litigation initiated by 22-year-old advocate Yugant R Marlapalle.
I think they are probably referring to this forum. The government seems to have some rule against creating digital "offences or contravention committed outside India by any person" on their books.
I would post my thoughts on this here, but Ranjeet Adkar pretty much sums it up for me.
For the "plus" note, I discovered a website that allows you to "connect" with Orkut in a superior manner, although I have to see whether its either a proxy, a phisher stealing Google Accounts or just another cool Orkut hack (hopefully the latter).
Will post an update on this when I find the time.
Friday, October 06, 2006
When I first started blogging about Orkut, I came across many programs and hacks that made it easier for me to use and enjoy Orkut, which made using the forums a lot more fun.
After testing dozens of these user made hacks/programs, I created a list called called Must Have Orkut Hacks in order to share my discoveries with other users who often visit the forums.
Many months later, new programs/hacks have emerged, while others were destroyed by the Google updates on the Orkut servers.
After reviewing too many programs/hacks (and several in different languages) I decided that these were the ones that stood out among the rest. I judged each Orkut program/hack by:
- Simplicity: How simple the program would be for new users to install and use.
- Usefulness: How many different ways it could help users (forums, scrapbooks, etc.
- Innovation: Solving a problem on Orkut by building a "Google feature" (basically an item Google needs on Orkut).
Without further delay, here are the results:
In 5th place: Free Orkut Toolbar 1.1 (for Internet Explorer)
Developed by Winrogs Globalsoft, the Free Orkut Toolbar provides the basic formatting features. What makes Free Orkut Toolbar interesting is the fact that it includes an email notifier (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.), a local weather forecast and a free radio player.
Suggestions: Create a Firefox version as well as incorporate XM Radio within (supported by ads or a non-ad version with a low monthly fee).
- free radio player
- Local weather forecast
- email notifier (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, POP3)
For a more in depth review click here.
In 4th place: Sorkut
Sorkut was originally developed by Rohit Kumbhar for Firefox users. Despite suffering through the various Google server updates, this hack enables users to "google" forums for keywords within conversations. Why Google has not developed this within the Orkut forums themselves is anybodies guess.
Suggestions: This hack has a few bugs in it (thus the reason it has dropped two spots from last time) although if these were resolved this would probably be in second place, as this is desperately needed on Orkut.
- search for keywords within Orkut forums
For a more in depth review click here.
In 3rd place: Scrapboy
Scrapboy has improved dramatically since I first encountered it, and has moved up a spot from last time to the number three position.
Created by Assaf Koren, Scrapboy allows users to scrap their friends without logging into Orkut (very handy when Firefox is down) as well as being notified of not only your scraps, but your friends as well.
Equipped with a built in online status indicator that lets you know which of your friends are online (the only program/hack with this thus far) as well as the ability to choose which friends to scrap while receiving multiple messages.
Suggestions: Give users the ability to choose different skins of for Scrapboy layout. Also give users with Google accounts the ability to send scraps within Orkut's cousin Joga.
- online status indicator
- send and receive scraps from desktop
- real time scrapbook notifier
Support forum: Scrapboy
For a more in depth review click here, here and here.
In 2nd place: Orkut Cute
Designed by Alexandre Pires of APC Software, this program requires very little "geek knowledge" making it a favorite on and off the Orkut world.
Orkut Cute might as well be called the unofficial Orkut browser, and allows users to do everything from change their background colors, to send mass scraps to all of your friends and favorite forums and comes with not only a scrap notifier, but also lets you know when a new topic has been posted on your forums.
Orkut Cute also goes the extra mile and provides anti-virus software resources for users, just in case they click on the wrong link and their computer is infected with an evil virus (a huge problem on Orkut previously).
Suggestions: Create something similar for Joga and perhaps create a Firefox version of Orkut Cute (to create a smoother version between features). Also an online status indicator would sweeten the deal.
- mass scrap your friends
- post on several forums at once
- change your background colors
- virus protection software
- scrapbook notifier
- forum post notifier
Support forum: Orkut Cute
For a more in depth review click here.
In 1st place: Orkut Scrapper 2.0
After suffering a brief outage due to changes on the Orkut server, Orkut Scrapper came back with not only all of its bugs fixed, but adding many necessary features that neither I (or Google) may have thought of before.
Created by Binny, this Firefox hack is already being declared a favorite by many inside Orkut (at least the messages that I can read in English) and provides a host of tools for users to use.
Orkut Scrapper allows users to not only send scraps instantly to those who have left messages on their scrapbook but also allows users to send secret scraps as well (which is a great feature as Orkut has yet to announce plans on creating privacy settings within Orkut).
Orkut cute also comes with a scrapbook notifier, an online friend notifier, translation post tools (a Google must!), the ability to view images and Google video's (a Google must!), a live preview of your scrap before you hit send, and the ability to change your Orkut background to a picture. Did I mention a shout box too?
Suggestions: Allow users to adjust the colors of their Orkut background, integrate (if possible) Gtalk within Orkut instead of a shout box (like in Gmail), insert more language translation tools within.
- translation post tools
- secret scraps
- shout box
- online friend alert
- ability to view images and Google videos
- live scrap preview tool
Support forum: Orkut Scrapper 2.0.1
For a more in depth review click here.
Well, those are the Must Have Orkut Hacks for this round. I am really impressed with the developers of these programs themselves (as this type of thing takes time to develop), especially with the last three as they have improved themselves over the months to meet the needs of Orkut users everywhere.
Now if only we could get Google to see the potential of Orkut that these guys see, then maybe Google would grant access to Orkut for everyone to check out for themselves.
I know that he is a Googler (which is an employee of Google) but I wonder if Greg Reshko works on Orkut or not? (as he lists it as one of his passions)
I'll scrap him to see if he is, although Googlers generally do not talk to outsiders unless its work related (as Google is listed as a cult--just kidding).
That is something I would like to know. ;)
Not so long ago Orkut rolled out Google Ads across the forums in order to make those unfriendly donut errors go away (something I am quite thankful for).
Now it seems that the Orkut team has placed a tiny link near the bottom of your screen allowing businesses to sign up directly and advertise on Orkut.
However when clicking on the link, you are brought to this page that will be very familiar to anyone who uses ad sense (like me).
Basically when you see this link points to an Onsite Advertiser Sign-Up which allows people to sign up and place ads on your site via Google earning you (if they click) more revenue.
Usually Google has a link like https://adwords.google.com/select/Login or http://www.google.com/ads/ allowing users to sign up with Adwords.
Although Google Groups has a "See your message here," link, it points to the previous mentioned links above.
Orkut's sign up link seems to be more suited for individuals (or businesses) and my question is whether Orkut (the founder) is making six figures off of the forums or if it is split between everyone on the team? (and that would include Ellen)
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Apparently some people have no sense of humor.
(SportsNetwork.net) Barrichello, who isn't a member of the Orkut community, took exception to the false profiles on the site, as well as the improper use of his name and image. Thanks to a decision by the civil court in Sao Paulo, Google will now have to take off all the profiles listed.
Orkut now have seven days to comply, or face fines of £270 a day. Rubens has already won an action against the company, back in July of this year, but it has not been fulfilled. As such, Barrichello's lawyers have also asked for an additional £210,000 in damages for pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering from fake profiles? Probably more like gain and sacking funds from a company with deep pockets.
Orkut already discourages fake profiles of celebrities and you can always report them as bogus (or at least report it to these forums).
There are many fake profiles on Orkut, and simply calling a lawyer because your feelings were hurt is probably a great way to waste judicial time and setback online media as well (not to mention making yourself appear immature).
Over on Read/Write Web, their is much discussion on the possibility of Dodgeball and Orkut possibly merging together.
Although both are social networking services owned by Google, Dodgeball is available to urban America only while Orkut is global in scope.
If Dodgeball became global this would be a match made in cyber heaven, but until then it would probably be better if Gtalk and Dodgeball merged, than Orkut.
Today's Fortune: "Generosity and perfection are your everlasting goals."
I would like to personally thank Binny for releasing his new improved version of Orkut Scrapper 2.0 which you can read a review about in the previous post.
I am also looking forward to testing a few more programs, although I may need someone to help translate them from Portuguese. ;-)
I am looking forward to documenting the best of the Orkut hacks online...so if you have one that I have overlooked let me know by commenting/scrapping/emailing me...as I am thinking about writing a review of some of these hacks on The Blog Herald (a Google News source).
Monday, October 02, 2006
I previously wrote about Orkut Scrapper, a Firefox hack that made it easier to scrap and send colorful messages to your Google friends.
Unfortunately changes on Orkut's servers killed this hack in its beginning, although Binny seems to have been busy not only making this hack workable on the new Orkut, but also improving the overall layout of the Firefox extension.
He graciously allowed me to test his latest creation earlier today, and my only regret is that this hack may put a few others out of business. Anyways here are some of the cool new features you will find in Orkut Scrapper.
Link Access: Orkut Scrapper allows users to visit their friends (and enemies) scrapbook and album, or simply send them a quick email or teaser.
Shoutbox: Users can communicate to each other off of the Orkut servers and onto a public shout box. Although not Google Talk, this is the next best alternative, and the great thing about this is that users can choose whether they want a private shoutbox or simply use the public one.
Font Styles: Not only can users change the color of their fonts when scrapping friends, they can also also change the size as well! But the best feature is that it allows users to send messages using their favorite font styles, an option I wish Google's blogger gave to users.
Translation Tools: This is a feature desperately needed on Orkut (and needed very quick!). Although only translating India's main languages, this can be quite useful for those people whose first language is not English or Portuguese.
A translation tool would help break down some of the barriers within Orkut forums, not to mention allow businesses to communicate a lot easier instead of having to copy and paste the message into Google Translate.
Secret Scraping: You can send messages to your friends that they (and only they) will be able to see simply by clicking the reply button with "the golden key."
This is quite handy, especially since Google does not have privacy settings on user's scrapbooks. You can also send scraps normally if you would like, but the "hidden way" is much more fun!
Online Friend Alerts: Orkut scrapper notifies you when your friends appear online, although you have to manually turn this on within the Options settings.
More, more, more!: There are more features within Orkut Scrapper, but since I do not want to overload people's browsers with images, I'll simply list them below.
- The ability to set an image as your background
- The ability to view images or flash items (such as Google Video's) within Orkut
- Live preview of your message before scrapping your friend
- Creating a signature for your scrap posts
- Send a "heart message" using the text that you type
The best part is that Binny is not even done yet! (he still has a few more features he is planning on adding in which I'll update over here when they roll out)
For those of you who are dying to try this hack out, you can download the program via Firefox add-ons page.
I'll be adding this great Orkut hack to the sidebar and if you have enjoyed Binny's program, visit his scrapbook and let him know.
Update (10/06): If you have any questions or problems, you can report it in the official Orkut Scrapper 2.0.1 forum. Thanks for reminding me Binny!
Update (10/12): Changed the download link from SendSpace to the Firefox add-on page. Thanks Binny!
(Hat Tip: Customize Talk)
It appears the Google Talk has given users the ability to make their conversations appear "Orkutie." Since I don't use Gtalk that often (as I am waiting for them to allow group chatting) here is a screen shot via Google.
In order for users to do this they will need to click on the Settings link near the top of their chat screen, then after a window appears select Appearance near the bottom.
But the question remains, does this mean that Orkut will be including Google Talk within Orkut?