Curse you, Melissa, for sending me that invitation to join orkut. I accepted it, and now I have fallen into the rabbit hole of endlessly searching for new communities (Canada! Vassar! Simple Living! Road Trips! Bush is stupid!), trying to determine how many people I know are fellow orkut-ites (thus far: not many), and generally spending way, way too much time on one site.

True, orkut is somewhat like Friendster writ slightly older, slightly geekier, and slightly more exclusive, but it still seems like a fascinating and totally new world. It does have its mysteries (seriously, why so many Brazilians and so many Portuguese-language communities?) and its usability flaws (why can't I search for a community or topic like I can for a person? why can't I filter communities by something other than popularity and newness? what is with the whole crazy colored arrow/rate-your-friends thing?); regardless, it's a seriously cool invention, and is sure to become one of my very favorite time wasters. I have only Melissa to thank.

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