I've played a little with Orkut, the new social networking software. I love the design, it's so clean and functional. Did you notice the title letters are all made with people? This afternoon when I checked my email, there were a bevy of invites and responses, so I was sad to see the notice when I went to log on:

We've taken orkut.com offline as we implement some improvements and upgrades suggested by users. Since orkut is in the very early stages of development, it's likely to be up and down quite a bit during the coming months. None of the information you've entered will be deleted, and none of the connections you've made will be lost. And, if all goes well, you should see some significant improvements when we come back online.

We'll send an email once everything is ready and running again. Thanks for your feedback and for bearing with us as we work our way up the learning curve.

I'm guessing they weren't ready for the traffic they saw. How about you? While I like the design, and it's fun to play with, for me it's another one of those things that I just don't know that I would really use. I joined friendster a while back, too, and exchanged emails with a couple of really nice people, but in the end, it was just too many inputs for me. And then I felt bad for not responding. Joined linked in, too, just to see. But there are work emails, and personal emails, phone calls with friends and family, comments on my work blog and photo sites, an occasional comment on my personal blog, work voicemails (which thank goodness go to work email), the answering machine at home, a bizillion RSS feeds, favorite websites, Messenger, cell phone, and the notes my son's teacher sends home from school every Friday. (Yipes, that's a scary list.) I just don't see the benefit of it, unless I were looking for love, and luckily I'm already blessed with that :) Still, I'll go back a couple of times, I'm sure, since a lot of my MSDN pals are there. And I did start a community. So, we'll see. And if you're using Orkut, feel free to add me to your friends list.

I was looking around in the blogosphere and ran across a  posting by David Galbraith which raised an issue that I hadn't even considered (I'm feeling rather nieve right now):

Think how useful it is for Google to have your personal profile in order to target ads at you, particularly as they go after the $25billion yellow pages advertising market. People are giving valuable information away for free as part of a game.

More comments/discussion at The Social Software Weblog.