The legend goes like this: There once was a social media website called Orkut. One day, some Americans on it started complaining that there were so many Brazilians on it. The Brazilians said, "Oh yeah?" and proceeded to really take over Orkut. And since then, if you want to reach a Brazilian audience, say about saving the rainforest, you joined Orkut. Orkut was the classic example for teaching people to go where their audience is.
But no more.
Google, which owns Orkut, is shutting it down.
Because when you got a social network as good as Google+ to take on Facebook, who needs Orkut. So Orkut joins earlier failed Google social media sites Friend Connect and Google Buzz on the trash heap. It comes down to Google+.
People occasionally ask me at the end of my social media trainings why I didn't talk about Google+. I am still working on my answer. Why don't I talk about Google+? Do any of you talk about it? Do you use it? I know many people do. Technically, I do too. I post regularly to it. Google+ information permeates my Gmail interface. But I don't consider myself a Google+ user like I am a Twitter or Facebook user. I think I use LinkedIn more than Google+.
But, if you want to reach the people who use Google+, you gotta use Google+, especially now that Orkut is gone. And if Google successfully migrates Brazilians and Indians from Orkut to Google+, we will have to use Google+ to mobilize the Brazilians to save the rainforest. Then again, they probably use Facebook.
So time will pass and I will keep telling my Orkut story to my classes. And pretty soon, they will all look at me like I am a doddering old man talking about unlikely bygone days when Google owned a social network that was perfect for doing social advocacy in Brazil and India.