(Hat Tip: Danny Piccirillo)
It looks as if one of the notorious Orkut rumors will receive a death blow after this! (rumor number 7 for those wondering).
Google has (finally) added Orkut to the Google Hall of Fame page (aka the "Google More" page) which should put to doubt whether or not Orkut really is a Google service.
Orkut is listed just above the Picasa link and right below Google Groups (as you can see above).
Although listed on the international page, Orkut is ironically not listed on either the Brazilian site or the Indian site as well (which rumor has it, Orkut is more popular than Google in either country, respectively).
Now that Orkut's getting the respect that it deserves, when is Google going to add RSS feeds to Orkut? Or merge Orkut Albums with Picasa Web Albums? Or introduce mobile to the rest of the planet? Or (insert request here)?
Sunday, April 29, 2007
(Hat Tip: Danny Piccirillo)
Friday, April 27, 2007
It's been a while since I've done this, although a lot of people have sent in great suggestions! (keep it up)
Today's forum of note is Conflict management, which is run by Ehteshamul Haque and moderated by Sujeet, Pain is my fuel, and Hanspeter.
What made this forum really stick out to me was the fact that it was not some "cheap advice" forum operating on theory, but rather real solutions for the real world.
Some interesting conversations include:
- Resolving conflict between two different bosses
- Getting work done at work (for all you procrastinators)
- Surviving the politics of rival departments (I've been there before)
- And last, how to deal with those "Mr. Know-It-All's"
For those of you fortunate enough to work at a company where its "every person for him/herself," then this forum is definitely for you.
Do you have a forum you think I should cover? Let me know by shooting me an email.
Note: Will add this forum underneath Forums of Note in the sidebar.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
|From Inside Orkut|
After reports came in yesterday that Minal was among the missing, it was confirmed by media outlets, Facebook members and various individuals who emailed me reporting the sad news about Minal.
Minal's scrapbook has received well over 20,000 scraps in the past few days, and here are some of the best comments from well wishers expressing regret and sorrow to Minal, as well as to her family.
Goodbye MINAL PANCHAL
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did
GOD BLESS ALL
Like a bird
Singing in the rain,
Let grateful memories
Survive in time of sorrow.
My deepest condolences to ur family
You Be With God...
U and I may not be knowing each other...
But my heart pains when I heard of my Indian Sister lost her life in the US...
My heart pained a lot when I heard that a good talent was killed for no valid reason...
I assume, it might be that God needed a skilled Architect to build a new Heaven...
And you are the one chosen by him... All the best of luck for your new venture!!!
There were also a few text art images, ranging from roses to candles, all made in honor to Minal.
There have also been several forums established in her memory. In the Minal Panchal: God bless her forum Savio writes:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
And may perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen
My prayers are with you gurl, May ur soul rest in peace!!!
Other forums have been created, such as Minal Panchal -a brave girl where users are also expressing their condolences for her family.
Last but not least, here are some of her last scraps on Orkut (Hat Tip: an anonymous user and Anjali for compiling these on the original Minal Panchal forum.
Shilpi Gupta's scrapbook:
Minal: madam photo change itne jaldi!!! achche lag rahe ho!!! kisne khichi yeh pic..... i wonder
Payal Aggarwal's scrapbook:
Minal: pahoch gaye ghar.... ?
Minal: amazing pic payal, wat place is it???? mere bina akele kahan gaye the???? kiske saath???!!!!
Minal: hi anjummmmmmmm!!! how r u????? kya kar rahe ho aaj kal? wher r u working?? i m fine, first years coming to an end.... cant believe it! its nice getting bak to studies and now cant wait to get bak to work :) !!!!! it was very nice to hear from u... do keep in touch!
Minal: thanx rajiv for listening (or telling your guest), very unlikely of u...... :)
i really appreciate ! waise hamare ceiling par thode cracks ho rahe hai.....
Bharati Karmarkar's scrapbook:
Minal: hmmmmmmmmmmmm..... wat?
Akshay Shah's scrapbook:
Minal: how r u akshay? lifes good at my end!!! first sem abt to be finished!!! unbelievable!!! howz work at your end???
(the next ones were from last year, December)
Minal: gr8!!!! congratulations yaar!!! so, how do u feel???? wow, its gona be quite a while for me to be thru wid my masters!!! wil be in NJ to visit my sister during the break.
Minal: hi akshay, how r u?? my sem was good.... got really hectic in the end with all the submissions!!! right now just relaxing and enjoying the break! wat abt u? how was yr sem?
Minal: hi, how r u?? lifes good... bas the same job search, course work :((
congrats for your new car!! and howz work????
Richa Walia's scrapbook:
Minal: hi richa! bahot unrichable hogaye ho!!!!??? (btw shruti gets 50% credit for this pj)!
saaw your pics today!!! they r really good. loooking very pretty! aur batao kya chal raha hai?
Here is a request to the general Orkut community. If anyone can recall Minal sending them a scrapbook or her posting in a forum, would you mind posting the links to those in the original Minal Panchal forum for her family and friends to view?
And if anyone is a close friend of Minal's family, would you mind forwarding these last posts by Minal to her mother and family, as I am sure they would appreciate this very much.
On behalf of everyone who has heard about this tragedy, my prayers go to the family of Minal, as well as to the families of those who have lost loved ones. God bless. :-(
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I do not know if anyone has been following the news in America lately, but if you have not heard there was a school massacre at Virginia Tech, which has shocked our entire nation, including me.
Although the media has released a partial list of those who were killed, there is some concern that one of the fallen may have been Minal Panchal (not to be confused with the other Minal Panchal) who apparently is not responding back to her scraps. :-(
(Times of India) An Indian student of the university who was caught in the shooting is missing, according to inputs from the student community in Virginia’s largest university.
There are many Indian students in this university. All other Indian students are safe, say inputs from the student community. [...]
According to reports from the campus, friends were searching for an Indian student, Minal Panchal, who has been reported missing.
Minal Panchal has her Orkut scrapbook full of prayers hoping she is fine and urgent pleas to respond and tell her near and dear ones that she is safe.
According to standard policy, the media and government do not release the names of the victim until the family members have been contacted. With that said, here's praying that she is still alive and well and that someone (hopefully Minal herself) can verify her safety.
Related: Two Virginia Tech forums posting memorials for the fallen.
If anyone knows if Minal is safe, let us all know please. May our prayers be with those families who have lost loved ones today. :-(
Update: Startup Dunia is pointing to an article over on IBN Live listing Minal among the dead. I have not seen her name on any official list online, (or other media outlets confirming her status) so I am for now assuming otherwise.
I've posted some messages on Facebook (popular among college students in the US) asking if anyone knows any info regarding her safety. If I find anything, I'll post about it here.
Update (4/18): I'm receiving more an more messages hinting that she is among the victims killed. She is not on any official list that I see, but people have put together a list on Wikipedia suggesting that she is one of the fallen.
Other Facebook members are also hinting at this as well. Keep her family in your prayers.
Update (4/18): Minal is now officially listed among the fallen according to media sources. I am going to do a tribute post detailing forums paying honor in her memory. I have visited several already, although if anybody knows of any I should mention let me know via scrapbook or in the comment section.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Jerry over at Orkut Plus! has recently discovered that Google has inserted search bars within community forums.
When I first read his post I thought that he was seeing an old hack by Vijay, which enabled users to search within their forums.
Now it seems that Google has (finally) added this to community forums, which will help everyone find those missing conversations from way back when.
Now if only they could do something similar for scrapbooks?
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Although there is no official word from Google, it looks like the boys and girls at Orkut may be working on replacing the Orkut Albums (which really must go) with Picasa Albums.
(ZDnet.com) After Google added a new entry into their robots.txt file tonight (Disallow: /orkut/albums), I began doing some research into Orkut's photo album feature. [...]
When Google adds something to this file, it almost always means something is coming.
I sure hope so, as Picasa Albums would be an excellent compliment to many users, especially those gifted in the arts. If they do merge these two (or at least replace the Orkut albums) I wonder whether or not they will use the standard camera icon, or use Picasa's logo instead?
Note: Orkut himself seems to be enjoying Picasa Web Albums while visiting Brazil (hat tip: An Anonymous reader).
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Story: So you are surfing Orkut one day and your friend contacts you and asks why you are scraping disgusting remarks about their girlfriend. You laugh at the your friends accusation, saying you would never do that until he points you to a profile that has your image on it.
Worse, it has your contact info, as well as a list of all your friends. It's a fake profile. So now, what do you do?
Many people have been scraping, commenting (on older posts) or emailing questions on how to remove a fake profile. Although some may consider this trivial, it has resulted in some embarrassing situations for certain people, and believe it or not I've heard of worse examples bordering on criminal.
So for those of you who are harassed by these fake profiles, here are some recommended steps that you can take to successfully remove these profiles from Orkut, as well as suggestions of what NOT to do when you discover one.
- Flag the profile: This is the first step that you need to do (and if you skip this, you may end up making the process longer). Underneath every profile (and community) there is a report abuse button where you can notify Google of the offense.
Select the impersonating someone else or is a fake person option...
...and in the text field below provide a detailed description of why this profile is fake, along with links to your real profile and the fake one for Google to compare.
- Alert your friends: Contact your friends online (via email not scrapbook) and ask them to do the same above.
The email method would be advisable over scrapbook because it doesn't alert Mr. Fake Profile on what is happening and it keeps your friends scrapbook from being flooded with unnecessary outrage.
Note: For those of you who are Firefox fans, Orkut Helper makes this process so much easier as all you have to do is right click and select "report as bogus" on the profile link.
- Alert the Orkut Public: believe it or not, there are certain forums whose sole purpose is to alert each other about fake profiles so they can (as a group) remove them from Google's system. See this post for details.
- Contact the Authorities: Only do this if the fake profile created is posting your personal info online (i.e. phone numbers, email, address) and random people are requesting disgusting services (you know what I mean by this).
American users will probably receive a faster response (being that Orkut is hosted here locally) than those in other nations such as Brazil or India. Either way, don't go off into "Google hating," as they often have to balance user privacy against justice issues.
Note: If you are a lady, I would recommend contacting the authorities if the profile is harassing you in any way, as these losers should know better.
- Relax and wait: Don't let this one profile ruin your experience online. After you (and various individuals) have reported this, simply go on surfing Orkut, and enjoying life in Google's deep blue forum.
Also give Google at least two weeks to remove the profile, as they are supporting close to 50 million users on Orkut alone, let alone the hundreds of millions (if not billions) who use their other services daily.
Note: if after two weeks you do not receive a response, you can contact Orkut directly over here or alert Google at security [at] google [dot] com .
Now that you know the steps you have to take to successfully remove a profile, here are several things you SHOULD NOT do:
- Hack the account: This will not only get you banned from Orkut, but also from most of Google's services.
Worse, your fake profile would still remain, spreading even more havoc online.
- Threaten the user: Although it may feel great to vent how you feel towards Mr. Fake profile, this could also not only get you banned, but also arrested as well (which would make the situation worse).
Note: Ironically in similar situations I've seen some people get banned from Orkut because of this (which helps out your enemy more than it helps out you).
- Spam their scrapbook: It's not only a waste of time, but also a quick way to earn Google's wrath.
- Yell at Google: I would only recommend this if you want to slow down the response time for Google to solve your problem.
Simply alert Google to your problem, and do not spell in all caps (it's considered yelling) and check your grammar and spelling.
That's it thus far, and hopefully these steps will help aid your fight against these impostors. I am interested to hear on other ways people have combated these Orkut clones, and if you have any advice or stories to share, then let the rest of us know by posting below.
I have just recently noticed that Google changed the homepage image. The previous included some Googlers, although I wonder if these are random individuals fairly active on Orkut or mysterious Googlers we have yet to encounter.
Rahul, over at the Welcome to the Devil's Workshop has created a GreaseMonkey hack (Firefox required) that allows users to enlarge the images on their scrapbook.
Here is a before and after screen shot comparing the two:
For those of you who are already Firefox (and GreaseMonkey) fans, you can install this hack by clicking here.
Although a cosmetic hack, this does improve the overall appearance of my scrapbook (at least in my opinion).
Note: I am going to list this hack underneath Orkut User Tools on the sidebar.
Double Note: Congrats Rahul for reaching 100,000 plus hits!