Name Critic rates Orkut

orkut

Technical
Presentation
Our Rating
2
4
Background:

Awkward isn’t it?

Made worse by the usage of a small o – always a problem for us when used on a proper noun.

What is an orkut? What does it mean or stand for? Is it a variation on “or cut”? Is it a new flavor of Orkin – the famous termite removal company?

Since this is a Google-affiliated site, it is to the Google chat forums we turn for the answers. Some point out it is close to the Finnish word for orgasm (unverified)! Viewing the latest links and blogs on the site under the Media tab, make you think this might be right, given all the sexual commentary fed up for the media. Plus they are facing major child-pornography lawsuits.

Eventually people figure out that it is the name of a Turkish programmer who works for Google, and started this as one of his independent projects. Today it runs as a never-ending beta from Google Labs. Apparently this social networking site has spread to a base approaching 10 million users, almost 80% of whom are in Brazil!

Some parents give their children very unique names, and there is no problem with this. When your name is so different no other references to it exist on the internet, then the trademark lawyers are probably very happy for you to use it for a product or service. But that doesn’t mean it is a good, or even halfway decent name for a site in the Western World!

In our opinion, the logo and look and feel of the site are attempting to give it a feminine skew. No problem with this, and we even applaud the use of some 3D characteristics. But we do not buy into the lowercase first letter (even though it is popular with some branding agencies). It just gives too many practical English language problems downstream.

The trademark orkut is registered, incidentally, to orkut.com LLC and not Google. Perhaps there is some desire for separation in case of liability here? Too late in many cases, as Google has already been sued by Affinity Engines who claim Orkut Buyukkokten took the code with him when he left to join Google. They base part of their claim on the fact that the site has many of the exact same bugs.

For more information on this developing social site, please visit www.orkut.com or just Google it!

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