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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Bye-bye Orkut; you'll be sorely missed!

Bye-bye Orkut; you'll be sorely missed!

July 09, 2014 17:11 IST

Bye-bye Orkut; you'll be sorely missed!

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Divya Nair

One of the oldest known social networking sites, Orkut, is shutting down on September 30 this year. 

Filled with nostalgia, we decided to take a trip down memory lane.

It must have been quite some time since I logged into my Orkut account or cared about what was in it.

But the news that it was shutting down permanently on September 30, certainly shook me. All of a sudden, I felt very protective about it.

Orkut was like the mother of social networking.

How could it shut down just like that? Why did I ignore it all this while?

What will happen to all those memories -- the photographs, scraps and friends I made on Orkut?

With all these unanswered questions in my head, I logged into my account and lo! there it was! -- filled with tons of spam messages, unattended requests from far away friends, strangers and a few notifications from long forgotten virtual friends.

I realised that nothing much had changed about Orkut since I had first started using it in 2006.

Reader Invite: Do you have an active Orkut account?

What will you miss the most about Orkut when it's gone? 

You may write a farewell message or simply share your stories on #Orkut-Memories!

Please click NEXT to continue reading...

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

 



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Stalking alerts

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Once upon a time, when there was no Facebook and Twitter, you had to actually visit people's profiles to find out what they were doing.

It was a roundabout way of reaching people, but back then, I did not mind.

In fact, one of its features – Recent Visitors -- allowed you to track your daily visitors.

So, the hottie you had a crush on in college would definitely come to know if you visited their page.

At the same time, Orkut would let you know when your ex-flame stalked your page for updates.

Orkut introduced us to tweaking our privacy settings -- hide photographs, scraps and personal details.

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Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com




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Relationship statuses: The game changer

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Orkut can take credit for introducing this feature of simplifying relationships -- you could choose between single, married, committed, open marriage or open relationship.

Needless to say, most users were either in an 'open relationship' or were 'single'.

Because, if you were married or committed, you were at a disadvantage.

There'd be less 'fraanship' requests from strangers and more from genuine users.

In the first communication with a 'good looking' friend, the first thing s/he always wanted to know was whether you were single or dating someone.

It kind of set the playground for the rest of the conversation.

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Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com



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Communities were a hit!

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Long before Facebook Pages, Orkut introduced the virtual world to Communities.

There was one for every occasion and purpose -- hate communities, fan communities, one for the city you lived in, one for your favourite movie/character, etc.

Chances are most users were members of at least a few of these.

Almost every day, we'd participate in an endless debate on an issue that was close to our hearts; we'd even create polls in friendly groups and approach people based on the communities they subscribed to.

If at all, you were the admin of at least one community that crossed 1000 members, you almost felt like you had won a Lok Sabha election.

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Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com




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Testimonials massaged your ego

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This fantabulous feature reminded me of the time in school when we’d bribe a classmate on his/her birthday to pick us as their best friend. It kind of felt special when a friend you know wrote a few nice things about you.

It made even the strongest hearts melt and go 'aww'.

If someone has written you one, please save it for a rainy day – it will always surprise you.

Chances are you’re already reading one and smiling, aren't you?

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Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com



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The scrapbook was your mailbox

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When Orkut was at its peak, scrapbooks were the first thing people checked.

There was always a new friend waiting to be added – probably one from your school, your college or even the apartment you lived in.

You could not hide them from your friends; they were like your Facebook wall and every one could see what’s on it.

So if you did not want your friends to see a bad scrap entry, you'd have to delete it (like, permanently).

The 10,000 scrap entries made you feel like a mini Shah Rukh Khan.

And sometimes when you desperately hunted for an old scrap entry, you’d be treated to this epic message: Bad, bad server, no donut for you!

Rings a bell?

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Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com



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You took HTML seriously

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Unlike Facebook which has smileys and stickers to bring alive conversations, Orkut allowed you to type in Hyper Text Mark up Language.

You could choose to bold, italicise and even add colours to your text to make your scraps and photo comments look creative and attractive.

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Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com




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Ratings made you popular

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I'm not sure how many of you noticed this, but another cool thing about Orkut was that friends could rate you as trusty, cool or sexy.

Obviously you never knew who rated what.

The more the number of stars on your profile, the more popular it meant you were.

Once you crossed 100 stars, you felt like a celebrity in your circle of friends.

After September 30, 2014, you and I won't be able to log on to Orkut.

But you can definitely preserve your priceless stuff.

You may export your photos to your Google Plus account.

And save your scraps, testimonials and community posts to your computer using Google TakeOut.

When you log in to Orkut, just click on 'Learn More' right below the message: Orkut will not be available after September 30, 2014.

Bye-bye Orkut, you'll be sorely missed!

Reader Invite: Do you have an active Orkut account?

What will you miss the most about Orkut when it's gone? 

You may write a farewell message or simply share your stories on #Orkut-Memories!

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com




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