The Google promoted community portal orkut.com is being used intensively for marketing by many individuals and small companies alike. The modus operandi is very simple: Create a profile in orkut with a female name, join as many communities as possible and then start sending messages to the community members about your product or services.
This is virtually cost free advertising and you get to reach hundreds of target customers without any effort. (And success rate is very much high)
The fact that there’s no validation mechanism for orkut profile creation is being misused by most of the people. Many people create fake profiles to gain specific advantages. Creating a fake female profile will help grab attention as most of the male users usually don’t ignore the communications sent by lady members.
Conventional advertising (say in TV, Print, online etc) being expensive, many promoters have chosen to use orkut to get publicity for their website/product. You can find many fake female profiles in orkut with hundred of communities and negligible number of friends. Their profile will have no content and they usually don’t bother to respond to your communication. Their sole work is to promote certain products or services.
You’ll very often get targeted and unsolicited mails sent to a particular community that you have joined. These mails promote a wide range of subjects-from specific ones like job openings to general ones (like “visit hikut.com”)
Also there're software tools to send scraps to crores of people in one go.
Facilitating free marketing was not the idea behind orkut and I don’t think orkut users would like to become a target of this kind of advertising. Often orkutters just ignore them.
Though there’re options to ignore a user and or report as bogus, I don’t think they’re being used effectively.
I wish Google launches a validation mechanism for orkut profiles. Like as it was when gmail came into existence. Only existing users can invite others: this way people can invite only those they know well and misbehaving profiles can be traced back to those who invited them.
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