Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I just got the following message on Orkut.

Limit reached for number of friends

You have 1024 friends. You can only have up to 1000 friends. Before you can add more friends, you need to remove friends.

Partially because I was getting sick of social networks systems, partially because they were trying to be "exclusive" with invite only and partially because it was easy, I took the policy of saying yes to every friend request that didn't look like a fakester. Now I've found the edge of Orkut. According to Orkut, you can only have 1000 friends. I guess that's OK compared to the 150 or so for AIM. This error message reminds me a bit of real life. I know need to forget someone every time I meet someone I want to remember because I'm having a buffer overflow on my people recognition memory.

Now the question is... What do I do with my Orkut network now that I'm "done"?


Sell it on eBay !


Delete your account and start over.

Now you discover who your real friends are?

Francois beat me to it. An alternative answer is of course, "Give it away on Craigslist".

1024 is deeply suspect. This is what happens when you let Geeks build social software. 2^10 friends indeed. Joi must have at least 2^16 people who can answer the multiple question "Are You My Friend? Yes:No" with 1 instead of 0.

Ebay is so old-school. Sell it on your blog!

I'll start the bidding at $5.


Why 1024? I find it strange that you're exactly 2^10....

Is Joi really a bot? Why does he have exactly 2^10 slots for his buddy list?!

Very suspect! I have my eye on you Joi!

Now, the really suspective thing is that you can have a maximum of 1000 friends, but Joi has 1024!

Why, do as the Romans did, of course ;-)

Decimate, decimate !

* Send a *paper* letter to each of them from Japan. If you do 3 by day, you will be done in less than one year.

* Make a big party with all of them (impossible) ;)

* Each day on your weblog, you write one very small entry about one of them. Something not more than 17 words or so. Something like a paragraph or a thought. In 1024 days, you will be done.

Friend Mike recounted a story related to "people memory". A marine biology professor at Harvard would say to the new students every year: "Fish are my life and livelihood. I know the names of all the species and kinds of fish out there. My memory for names is full. Therefore, I will not be learning your names, because for each of you I remember, I lose a fish, and clearly I cannot do that."


Orkut?! People still use that?!

Now the real game begins: how *few* friends can you keep on Orkut!

What to do with Orkut now that you're "done"? Hrmm, maybe try getting a life?

Yes, I am aware of the irony of me posting this comment in your blog entry. At least I don't have >1000 "Orkut friends".

You could also fix comments to either actually render HTML or don't show it in the edit field at all.

hey, you never accepted my invitation!

Alot of what makes a medical team work is the social network around the patient: but i just can't get doctors exited about blogging, or email, or social networking, or anything cool and useful for this new century.

I did do some experiments with my cellphone number and bipassed my answering service to see if sharing info in a p2p format can happen within the context of nursing home patients: it seems to work. I have closer rapport with patients, get better team work with the nurses, and the consultants feel part of the team.

I do not think anyone realizes i am transforming things a bit and sort of using the networking idea from orkut to allow patients to sort of hack into my conversations with consultants. It becomes trasparent that i am talking to doctor a or b about problem x and y on patient z.

There is demand for these teams to come into being and for medical teams to become less fragmented. Persons realize the difference in quality of care when the social network is together in post care questionares that i think could be an outcome measure. I guess the whole thing could be done on a blog and orkut like format...

My initial thought was that you should just do an export and have done with it!

I figure social network solutions don't make sense as an end in themselves. They could be pretty useful where they're a component of a more focused application, though... Flickr is an example. The social network setup there supports ongoing photo sharing with contacts and friends.

Just wondering if it's a one way stop : you can't add new friends, but can other people add you as friend ?
Trying to add you...

So *THAT'S* how you win at Orkut

I would suggest that you start a 'division of yourself' according to topics of interest so that you will add several identities at orkut:
Then each identity can have up to 1024 friends that are related to a specific context.
At least, it may help you with the problem when you meet an 'old friend':
how do I know this person?

In South Korea, only old people use orkut.

How many of them are Brazilian??

Another alternative. Export all their email addresses to your GMail account. Then add them to a Google Group mailing list. Then delete them all from Orkut and start again.

I'd recommend declaring the game over and saying you won. I imagine some people will be impressed. I'm glad not to be among them.

But the best wording for the case was (at least was) provided by Yahoo! messenger: you have exceeded the maximum number of friends... They should've added some words on the importance of paying a visit to psychiatrist.

hey, i'm glad to be one of the fakesters you actually accepted ;) didn't manage to reach the limit yet, though (as it became the whole point of orkut for me)

I'm sorry but I'm gonna disagree with everyone preceding me in this thread. You don't have too many contacts, ever, if you have good tools for managing the information. The entire roster should be added to your list every time you go to a conference. Everyone in your 3rd grade class, in your swimming class, in your neighborhood association. Any group of people with whom you've shared an experience.

By your 40th birthday, you have 100,000 contacts. You know how to address scale: search, metadata, annotation, navigation, referral. Relevance. That's how we almost manage email, how we choose television programs, and what blogs to read.

Consider four factors for competition:
1. How many contacts
2. How rich and fresh your profiles on average and for those close to you, and Freshness of the collection
3. Quality of search and navigation
4. And tools to put them to use

Just as we're effective because of our IQ and EQ, amplify your Social Quotient too.

p.s. Your social network is something you should be able to share with or leave to your children. If you measure wealth by the number and quality of your friends, then you should be able to share that wealth with your family. Tools like Orkut should help you do that.

p.p.s. Tell Orkut to up the limit. 1000 friends is so 1998. I mean, how do you throw a party with just a thousand friends?

p.p.p.s Karl +1

p.p.p.p.s. Move to a new home and ask people on Orkut to pack and shlep. Order pizza for the three people who show up, the second time you move.

- phil

Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of the system? A sort of filter?

Make a "Friends of Joi Ito" community.There's no limit on the number of people a community can have.

Orkut schizophrenia...start having multiple personalities with their own individual, but overlapping, sets of friends.

Tell Adam Shostack (comment #5) that I see his $5, and raise him $5...

What to do now? The answer is so very simple!

ask to borrow $25 from each of them!

I expect that should weed the list fairly quickly.

Hi Joi,
At the risk of being cheeky move em all to our platform at least we don't limit your friends that and I raise the bid to $20.

Do what people do to make the best use of social software: use that filter to communicate and search for what you're looking for in real finding work/babysitters/apartments, selling/buying things where it might be important to who you're selling/buying to or from.

This is why it's important to have people you actually know or have some degree of confidence in, in your "network".

I mean, you didn't think that the point was to get as many "friends" as you can, did you ?

It's obvious what you should do.

See how many of the 1024 people on your friends list you can have sex with. Isn't that what social networking sites are really all about?


you should just take a deep breath, relax. go in the bathroom, take a huge dump. then think how miserable you would be if not for your 1024 friends.

But no, not at all, you are not "done".
You've only finished the first level at 1000 (24 are for the next level already).
On level 2 the goal is to get 1000 times 1000 friends of friends - and no duplicates allowed.
Then ... comes level 3: minimize your average distance to everybody.

hey , hey, u liar....

check out this id, Mahak Rakheja,, she'z got 2000+ friends,, don't try to get famous by pourin' shit over orkut,, it rules

dhruv: you have to tell me how she does it. I just tried to add friends again and got the error again.

Here's a screen shot:

my main question is " are you really done with it ? " or do u still want to continue orkutting.. well if yes just create ur community n shift ur frnds to your community n than add new after shifting ur frnds list to ur community .. or else just put a disclaimer on ur profile ... otherwise u can even terminate ur account !

The best thing you can do is that delete two or three of your best friends and add Larry Page,Sergey Brin and Orkut Buyokkokten and ask them to upgrade your ORKUT membership to an unique sort of membership !!

Suicide yourself at Orkut and Star all over again. That`s the best way for you to Know Who are your real Friends. What d`you think?

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