There are many types of rumors in the world. Some of them are good (potentially at least). Some of them are bad (as in really bad). But there are some rumors that seem to be taken as the truth, despite the fact that they contradict all reasonable explanations.
This post is dedicated towards these Orkut myths, which have (in my opinion) lasted far too long on the world wide web. And since most humans love the number ten (probably because that's how many fingers we have) here are ten Orkut rumors that really must die (as in today).
- Orkut Buyukkokten is the world's richest man: This rumor comes from the assumption that Orkut gets $12 every time someone registers on Orkut, $10 every time you add a friend, $200 every time you upload a photo and a crisp $1 every time you logout of Orkut. There are more details about this rumor over here.
Now with Orkut having at least 40 million users he would have to be paid $480,000,000 from Google just from people logging in. And if you add images to that figure (which would include those uploaded onto forums) he would receive $8 billion if everyone just uploaded only one photo on Orkut!
If Google even considered paying Orkut half this amount, Google's stockholders would revolt (not to mention the entire company would go bankrupt).
- Spam your friends and hit F8 (aka the "Crush List" rumor): This one seems to be traveling via Orkut mail, and goes along the lines of "if you send out an email to all of your friends, hit F8 you will see who has a crush on you." More info over here (hat tip: aniNosaintlife).
Sometimes this rumor has some java code attached to it, sometimes it does not, but either way it DOES NOT work (so please stop emailing/scraping me about this).
- If you do not send out a scrap, Orkut will delete your account: This rumor has gone down some, but when I first blogged about this people kept sending me scraps about this, despite my attempts to inform them to the contrary.
It got so bad (with people emailing me about this) that I
criedwhined to Google regarding this problem, and they were quickly able to put this rumor to rest.
- Google is (in the future) going to charge users for Orkut: This would not only kill Orkut immediately (as it is one of many social networks online) but would not really be apart of Google's style, which generally loves giving away free software (and sometimes a premium version as well).
Google has debunked this rumor, so hopefully we will not see this rumor again in our lifetime.
- Inside Orkut is an official blog of Google: Although this rumor causes me to laugh, I want to make it very clear- Inside Orkut is NOT an official blog of Google, but a personal fan blog started by Darnell Clayton (that being me).
I think I am partially to blame for this error, when I decided to mimic the layout of the Google Video Blog. Despite the disclaimer at the bottom of the page (on the left sidebar), I kept getting questions asking if I was a Google employee, was this an official blog of Google, etc., etc.
I finally decided to change the layout as the last thing I wanted was lawsuit from Google (as I hear they have some pretty fierce lawyers) not to mention the deletion of this blog.
Hopefully my upgrade to the Blogger Custom domain platform (removing the blog*spot) will put this rumor to rest.
Note: If you would like to check out the blog of a REAL Orkut engineer, then Beyond Satire may be the blog for you.
- Orkut was bought by Google, just like Picasa, Blogger and YouTube: Actually Orkut was created by Orkut, who was (and currently is) a Google employee.
Apparently it seems that Google approached Orkut to create a social networking site after being spurned by Friendster (hat tip: Marketing Vox) and although the site never took off in America, Indians and Brazilians have made excellent use of the place.
- Orkut isn't really apart of Google because its not listed on the "More Page":
Despite never making it to the Google hall of fame (i.e. the "more page"), Orkut is as much as apart of Google as Gmail, Blogger, Picasa, and even YouTube.
If you still don't believe me, you can try checking out their about page (although the Google account required to login should be an obvious hint).
Why Orkut isn't listed on the "more page," is something I have no clue about, but hopefully a Googler can correct this (as Orkut is no longer a red headed step child).
Update (4/29): Google finally added Orkut to "the more page." See this post for details.
- Orkut is Google's way of spying on its users: I think this rumor was spun from a post by Jeremy from Yahoo!, in which some people refuse to use Orkut which they see as even worse than Gmail.
Google does collect information on its users (just like Yahoo!, Microsoft, MySpace, your own local government unless you live in Antarctica) for the purposes of serving up relevant ads alongside your searches or inside your email (and even on Orkut).
For those worried about Google revealing your data to say, a hostile government should have nothing to worry about as Google defends the rights of its users, even against American courts.
- Terrorist organizations receiving funding from the ads on Orkut: This humorous hoax was started (or at least popularized) by the Search Engine Journal and was picked up by many bloggers as fact.
I at first laughed after hearing about this (even Ionut had a good time with this silly story) although others took this as another reason why Google was evil (note: ironically, many of those Google hate sites either use a Google product or host Ad Sense, which IMHO is rather odd).
This isn't true because:
a) Only Google makes money off of the ads on Orkut, as these ads display whether users like them or not.
b) If Google even sent one dollar towards a terrorist organization, all of their assets would be frozen by international governments and the search engine king would quickly go bankrupt.
Despite the logic listed above, people continue to list Google as Osama bin Laden's friend.
- Orkut Buyukkokten is running for President in Brazil/India: No, this isn't a rumor (as I just made this one). However with Orkut popularity in Brazil, I'm pretty sure he could lick the competition. ;-)
For those of you who survived at the end of this post, you have my sympathies. But I am interested, what rumors have you heard recently (or in the past) regarding Orkut? And do you still encounter people who believe these digital tales?
Update: Corrected spelling of aniNosaintlife source link.