Orkut vs. other social networks

Stuart Henshall comments on Orkut’s rapid growth compared to other social networks:

Orkut bridges the gap between Ryze (too open) and Linkedin (too closed) without the “everything is for sale” on Tribe. I suspect that those with “Friendster” experience also see it as providing extra functionality.

While I think the comparisons are accurate, the “toos” need to be considered in context. Ryze is not too open for those trying to dramatically increase their visibility to a large audience. LinkedIn isn’t too closed if you’re a busy executive/professional only wanting to make focused contacts. And what’s wrong with the “everything is for sale” aspect of Tribe? At least it seems to help keep the discussion forums themselves free from advertising, because there’s an appropriate place for it.

Always consider context when making value judgments. When deciding on a social networking tool, the question is not, “Which one is best?”, but rather, “Which ones are best for me?”