Rating My Life

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Rating my life one post at a time….

Remember the time ?

        It was Sunday afternoon, and I heard a knock on the door. I open the door and I see this young dude dressed all professional and stuff. I don’t remember his name but I know for a fact he was a salesman. He was there to sell Britannica Encyclopedia. So my mom asked him to come in and he started explain the need of encyclopedia. Those were the days when Encyclopedia was like a luxury. You need to be some rich , intelligent guy to have the set. And if you are kid its all the more interesting because I believed a kid having the entire set at his place is like the reincarnation of Einstein.

        It looked really good on your bookshelf, stating with Aa to Z . The matter in them were really new . My mom used to make me read one word a day. And all those photographs about cars and other stuff was really interesting . It was like a field trip every time i flip through those pages.

       After some years, the abridged version came on CD’s . When I got my first computer, I got the britannica cd free with it. It was like the next big thing for me. It was all the more interactive, with those sounds and graphics. I still remember spending hours and hours together listening to how the hummingbird sounds, the sounds of helicopter.

       Then came internet. Yahoo search , Lycos search. It was like magic, search for anything and Viola ! you have the page . Then Google happened. The coolest thing ever. But the most important development of all was one single website. It changed the entire perspective of knowledge transfer.

        www.wikipedia.org . It actually has the similar motto of that of a democratic goverment. BY THE PEOPLE, OF THE PEOPLE and FOR THE PEOPLE. Lets take a look at what wikipedia means

            ”  As of August 14 2007, Wikipedia had approximately 7.9 million articles in 253 languages, 1.95 million of which are in the English edition. It has been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world and the vast majority of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet. Steadily rising in popularity since its inception, it currently ranks among the top ten most-visited websites worldwide. Wikipedia’s name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a type of collaborative website) and encyclopedia. Its main servers are in Tampa, Florida, with additional servers located in Amsterdam and Seoul. ”    Wikipedia

             7.9 million articles in 253 languages. Well, that’s a lot of articles to refer too. So no more salesman knocking on the door to sell britannica. So what is cool in wikipedia ? Well, if you have a username and password you can start contributing for it. You can either start your own article about something(which is obviously be true and relevant) or edit the articles written by others(spelling mistakes, adding citations).

             Can I trust Wikipedia ? Well, Its good that its got 7.9 million articles in 253 languages, but how much of it is valid and accurate ? When you create an article in wikipedia, its reviewed by a commitee of admins and sysops. An article is not accepted until you have a proper citation attached with it. One top of all this , the article has to be approved by the committee of admins. 

            Other than the encyclopedia thingy , wiki group also has other activities like wiki quote ~ collection of quotes , Wiki media ~ Collection of multimedia files and others.

           Well today is wikipedia’s turn, god knows what’s gonna happen tomorrow. I guess I have said enough about Wikipedia. Below is a link to my user page in Wikiquote.

My User Page in Wiki Quote :
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/User:Vinch  

Britannica Vs Wikipedia :
http://news.com.com/2100-1038_3-5997332.html
http://fishbowl.pastiche.org/2005/12/20/wikipedia_vs_britannica_apples_vs_oranges

Cheers
Vinod Chandramouli

            

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Filed under: britannica, encyclopedia, google, Life in General, wikipedia

And then I created the profile

 Alright , I am sitting with my headphones on ( the headsets which you normally find in a contact center) with Mr John Doe, singing his song about windows xp, and I see the person next to me creating a profile in some webpage. So i get curious and ask him what is it all about. And that’s the first time I heard about Orkut. This was back in the beginning of 2006. He says its some kinda social network website ( I still didnt understand what he said) , and he got this invitation from one of his friend.

 John Doe is still singing about his experience with windows xp and i still had an hour to go before I could get out of my seat. So i decided to check this “Social Network” site out. Created my id and other stuff required and logged in successfully. The first thing i do where it said “Search for Your friends” is try putting a hot chick’s name who used to study with me at school. Viola !! three pages down the line, I find her….Things start to shape up. So i update more things into my profile….John Doe is still bragging about his experience…..and i could actually get hold of 5 my friends that single day……Thats just the beginning…..

 A different city, two years , 147 friends, and 1066 scraps  later(No John doe this time around though), I dedicate this post to Orkut and other social network websites, which these days really help in finding  all those lost chicks and friends from your school, college and work and also help to find new friends…

 Let me take this para in explaining the concept of Orkut. ( Eventhough there are like millions of other social network sites, I still prefer orkut ….).  The following is the extract from Wikipedia’s page about orkut.

    “Orkut is an Internet social network service run by Google and named after its creator, Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten. It claims to be designed to help users meet new friends and maintain existing relationships. Similar to Friendster and MySpace, Orkut goes a step further by permitting the creation of easy-to-setup simple forums (called “communities”) of users. Since October 2006, Orkut permits users to create accounts without an invitation. In April 2007, Orkut introduced polls in communities.”

 Lets take the following example…Jack and Jill are long lost friends who havent met for a long time. Jack decides to create an orkut profile and Jill already has one….Once Jack creates the profile…he can go and search for Jill’s profile and add Jill as his friend….and they re unite….well thats the main idea of Orkut…Ofcourse you have other options like Jack finding Jane as his new friend and start talking to her but lets not get in there…
 
 Currently there are about 62,638,127 users in orkut, and its the eighth most visited site throughout the world ( I wonder what’s the first one would be !!). So your chances of getting your college or school buddy is really good…

 Now that 62,638,127 users have access to your profile, you mite wonder how the heck is this thing secure. Well, yes the profile is secure no doubt about it, but the information in that….i dont think so. Last year I had a interview with Google for their SQE Process(Dont ask me why I didnt get thru !! ) .  Anyways in the interview panel, the Manager for Orkut operations in Hyderabad asked me this question….

     ” What do you think is wrong in Orkut, If you find any ? “  . Thats a very interesting  but tricky question coming from the Manager of Orkut…..Well, honestly from my opinion Orkut is a wonderful network, which really helped me in finding my old buddies and ofcourse, i did find some new ones……But it has its own disadvantages….

   For example, If lets say you are visiting Jack’s profile. Jack has added, where he works, what movies he has watched and the most important stuff his communities….If Jack has joined the Chelsea Football team community….that means he likes them….so you can narrow down a person’s interest and you can actually judge a person from the communities he has joined…. So thats like the biggest disadvantage of Orkut….

   The second thing are the scraps….Well, Scraps are messages to a person…sent by friends or others who wanna send a message…its like writing Graffiti on the wall….its for you…but everyone can see it….So anyone would know who my friends are from the scraps i have…

   One top of all this…there is a contradictory question which comes into everyone’s mind….Yes there are sooo many disadvantages….yes your privacy is lost….yes ppl can judge you from the communities you have joined….my question is why do it…?? why do you have to write your history in your profile… ?? why do you have to join communites and let others know your interest ?? why do you have to keep you scrap’s ?? … I guess that’s the question which decides whether Orkut is good or bad….

   Well folks for me though….Orkut has served its purpose…i found my long lost buddies and i am still finding them….!! 

cheers
Vinod chandramouli

Filed under: google, graffiti, Life in General, Orkut