The growing popularity of Orkut in India

I started noticing this a few months back when I started receiving notifications from friends / cousins about Orkut scrapbook messages. At first I ignored them (I joined all these sites when they first came out, but don’t visit except to accept invitations sometimes). When I was finally enticed to check, I was amazed to find a buzzing Indian community. I recognized people I had not talked to for years from visits to my profile, I saw that my old school has more than 2000 members (I think I had checked this a few years back and there were 4-5 members). Now that trickle of Orkut mailings has become a deluge, and I find myself visiting the site at least once a day (those who know me are aware of my skpeticism regarding earlier social networking sites such as Orkut and LinkedIn, so this is my surprise to day the least).

Continue reading

What should Indi name her book: Mental Models or Alignment Diagrams?

On the Rosenfeld Media blog, Indi posted a note asking whether she should name her book “Mental models” or “Alignment Diagrams”. Read her post for background.

I am one of the people who thinks she should stick to the term “Mental Models”. I think the term is a good description of what she is writing about. When I mentioned this to her, she was concerned about the reaction from cognitive psychologists. I say: “To heck with cognitive psychologists”. I am one of them (yes, I am a cognitive psychologist by training) and I think this is the right term to describe what she is doing, even if is not entirely be in keeping with how congiitve psyhologists like Johnson & Laird might use the term. In fact, two years ago, when I submitted a paper to CHI with the word “Mental Models” in the title I got the same type of feedback in the reviews.

Continue reading