LinkedIn is new Facebook, while Facebook is really becoming Orkut!

WARNING: a long and probably pointless post 🙂 so read only if you have nothing better to do 🙂

I signed up on Orkut and Facebok at almost same time (in 2006) … but still in my initial first three years – like most of my friends – I was mostly active on Orkut and I had no activity on Facebook.
You will think the migration from Orkut to Facebook was because of the user interface of Facebook … the world famous “facebook wall” 🙂 that pulled me and most people to FB … which is partly correct. I definitely liked the way I can share links, videos, pictures and even thoughts and comments … and my friends and family can “like” and “comment” on all those things.
That was really a great innovation from Facebook.
But that was not what converted me.
What converted me was that all my friends started signing up on Facebook and started “using” it too … so while it was the user interface that pulled me up, it was my friends presence that made me stick to FB.
I remember at that time I posted a status on FB saying “Facebook is new Orkut” – I meant the experience of social networking.
I also put a permanent Orkut Status pointing to my Facebook page – much like “Out for Lunch” comment you see on a shop.
Orkut did realize much later that it is loosing and started fixing things up, but that was too late by then.
Soon I found myself growing farm, helping my wife, mom, dad, brother, cousins and friends on virtual Farming – until it became too much an obsession – and I really had to block Farmville 🙂
Apart from that “farmville phase” I really liked the way I could share information with people close to me … and the world seemed beautiful!
Or so I thought … unless one fine day I logged in and saw certain changes.
I saw changes on Facebook wall page – the layout was changed – if I may say so “forcefully”.
The privacy settings where changed – If I may say so “forcefully”.
It was like you had a home sweet home, which you absolutely adored … and some outsider came and changed everything!
What was worse that “The outsider” didnt stop there … he went ahead and opened all doors and windows and then left – for the whole world to see what you are doing which you intended to share with your close family and friends.
I remember that phase where everyone who understood the changes – was panicked and had to go and review each and every door (privacy settings) and make sure they are locked up.
On the other hand – there must be millions oblivion to the privacy changes – who are not aware how and what of their private information is out there public now because of those changes.
What makes it worse it “The Outsider” did not stop there and kept “innovating” and changing the look and feel of FB every month or so … when you convince yourself to the new look, they will “innovate” and another look and force on you.
They will promote worthless and mindless applications and let people post them on my wall.
It is ironic that while two years back I made the comment “Facebook is becoming new Orkut” in a positive way – now I will have to say the same comment in a negative way.
Because Lately I have felt that Facebook is slowly becoming as cluttered as Orkut once became – and the FB experience is diminishing.
I thought that I am too small to “fight against the system” and hence will need to accept whatever form it may come in …. but what I did not know was there is another world that was being built out there, which I was totally Unaware of.
That was linkedin.
Linkedin was earlier supposed to be a “professional networking” site – everything about linkedin had an “official” feeling about it – the look, the people on there, the “profile” – everything.
But sometimes in last 6 months, they have ripped off the “facebook wall” experience – by just copying pasting it – and to be frank first I laughed about it!
I laughed earlier because I saw LinkedIn as a “loser” who I saw copying a well known “wall” concept from facebook – but later I appreciated them and see them as a winner because I see there are people who are actually using those tools to network – to brand themselves – to brand their companies – to share ideas.
What Linkedin has done correct here I think is so far they have a limited number of applications – twitter, books and so on – which are relevant to professional networking.
Plus since it is a “professional networking” site – so all those stupid kind of facebook applications and status (I am sleeping, I am shitting and so on) are not there.
Facebook wall on other hand has become a mockery of comical applications like “how beautiful you are”, “how will be your day today” and countless worthless applications – almost all of them I have blocked, but even then my wall seems like a garbage dump.
On the other hand – I think one feels a sense of responsibility before posting anything on Linkedin – so I believe it will be “clean” at least for some time to come.
This all made me think that “nothing is final” and we have not reached end of “social networking” world – it is still in innovation phase.
So, as you can see, there is no real point being made in this post – the only thing that I wanted to point out that “nothing is final” – when Orkut came I thought that is it in terms of innovation (why didnt I think of it) – then facebook came I thought that is it in terms of innovation (why didnt I think of it) – and now linkedin is innovating and may include certain features – which may not make them as popular as facebook, but will earn them a respectable place in the crowd of social networking sites.
Only time will tell. But so far I am loving the social networking experience – be it on facebook or twitter or linkedin.
To end this post I would share one dilemma I had initially – that was to choose between these three social networking sites – Facebook, Linkedin and twitter – but then I found there are many tools available to help you … and you dont really need to choose, but to integrate all those … the one tool I have liked most is “TweetDeck” – but that probably deserves a separate post.

The Saraswati Puja of Bhandaridah (from late 1980s)

I noticed on my “Google Calendar” that today is Vasant Panchmi.

And I am getting so out of touch that I only remembered the name of this festival but I didnt remember what it is celebrated for. (yeah I hate to admit, but that is the truth)
So I googled again and opened up wikipedia:-

Vasant Panchami (Devnagari:वसन्त पञ्चमी), sometimes referred to as Basant Panchami or Shree Panchami (Devnagari:श्रीपञ्चमी), is aHindu festival celebrating Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music and art. It is celebrated every year on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Indian month Magh (January-February), the first day of spring.

And when I saw “Saraswati Puja” – I was like wow!! That was one of the most celebrated festivals we used to have in Bhandaridah in late 1980s. How can I forget that?
I pinged my wife and here is the exact conversation that followed-
[ me ] :
[wifey]: i know
[wifey]: i used to wear yellow maxi on this day
[wifey]: when i was kid
[wifey]: it was v pretty dress
[wifey]: 🙂
[wifey]: when is it?
[ me ] : today
[wifey]: oh
[wifey]: how do u know
[wifey]: do u celebrate ?
[ me ] : in bhandaridah saraswati puja was a big thing
[wifey]: hmmm
[ me ] : bachcha log used to take chanda from mohalla mohalla
[wifey]: 🙂
[ me ] : in our home – papa will easily give 10-20 rs
[wifey]: for me it was eating yellow things like tehri and wearing yellow clothes
[ me ] : mom will give 2 rs
[wifey]: 🙂
[ me ] : and so much bargaining mom will do
[ me ] : aunty 2 rupaye mein kya hoga
[ me ] : 2 rupaye bohot hai
[wifey]: 🙂
[ me ] : some regular bachcha log knew – (they were actually our old neighbours bhaiya log – babli bhaiya, etc)
[ me ] : they will ask me – vishu, papa hain kya?
[ me ] : achcha nahin hai – humlog baad mein aayenge
[wifey]: hmmm
[ me ] : then there will be small pandals in each mohalla of bhandariday
[ me ] : it will be holiday in school
[ me ] : so me & Amit will go each & every pandal and eat prasad
[ me ] : joined by other school friends
You can see just a simple mention of this festival caused both of us to start telling our own stories!! 🙂
I was thinking to myself it is amazing how important were these days in our life – but now we are not even aware that today is vasant panchmi / saraswati puja.
I wondered if 20 years from now same thing will happen – things which are absolutely dear to us now will become totally irrelevant 20 years from now?
It made me more nostalgic and I took the last arrow from my “tarkash” wikimapia/google maps – and zoomed in on Bhandaridah.
I zoomed in / zoomed out with awe – wondering if it’s still the same!?
I promised myself (yet once again, for the thousandth time) – that I will go back to visit this place, which is absolutely close to my heart.
I made a new promise to myself that not only will I go, but I will go there regularly – like every year or so!!!!!
To top it all – I made final promise to myself that when I retire, I will settle down at this place – on the bank of Damodar river – in a nice little cottage and spend last days of my life there. (which I think is not even possible, all the areas I know in Bhandaridah is government owned or politicians affected!) .. btw that reminded of the dialogue from Swades “apne hi pani mein pighal jaana baraf ka muqaddar hota hai, samjha dena us chokre ko!” – roughly translates to it’s ice destiny to melt and mix on its own water 😀 (sorry for the poor translation)
:coughs: … finally I just snapped out of the dream and remembered I have to finish things and I pinged my wife again-
[ me ] : will talk to you later on this
[ me ] : need to get back to work
[wifey]: 🙂
…. and thus I came back to reality!!!