October 23rd, 2007 | Published in Google Orkut
Communication, social interaction, networking – these are concepts and experiences as old as the mountains but something here seems to indicate that the times they are a changing! When orkut was recognized as the MTV Youth Icon of 2007 a couple months ago, it was a great testimonial from the youth of India as to how much the spirit of free expression and exchange really means to them. But if some thought that 'smells like teen spirit,' here comes another testimonial to orkut and this time it's not just the users but a panel of experts who have bestowed on orkut 'The Genius of the Web Award 2007' as the best Social Networking website in India.
Genius of the Web is a series of awards instituted by Web 18 that recognizes industry achievements in the online space. But ask us who the award really goes to and where the kudos really belong and our unchanging refrain will always be – You. No wonder then that the evening of the award ceremony turned doubly special when two orkut users, randomly selected from amongst all you great guys and gals to represent the whole of the orkut community, actually went up on stage to receive the award. Prashant Saxena, an IIT Chennai student who has used orkut to build awareness of his NGO especially flew in from Chennai to be part of the ceremony and flew back post midnight to catch his class the next day! Meera Damji, a young advertising professional from Mumbai who has connected with the fringes of her extended family and over two hundred former classmates and friends through orkut joined Prashant in receiving the award, against a tight deadline at work the next day. That's the spirit of orkut users – all would agree!