February 24, 2004
Tuesdays with Huy Zing

My Orkut.com death was a slow painful one that lasted 1.5 hours starting at 20:44 on Monday, February 23, 2004.

During this period, I slowly saw the count of my list of 750+ communities (600 created by me) get halved, then drop by 20 at a time, then slowly 1 by 1 until my list of communities reached 0. Watching the list of my communities slowly drop meant only one thing: impending death at the hand of none other than a human!

During this infernal countdown, I had time to look back at my 30-day life, what I had done, my good deeds, my sins, my regrets, the people I had known. Ultimately, I only wished I had said "I love you" more often.

Then for about half an hour, I surfed around searching for my communities, like an orphaned puppy, to see which ones were actually deleted and which ones had been spared. It became obvious soon enough that the final judgment of my communities was arbitrary: coldplay & U2 remain but all hip-hop acts like Eminem & Jay-Z are gone. Dance Like Everyone's Watching is gone, but All Your Base Are Belong To Us lives on. It appeared a nerd was at the wheel. Some very questionable editorial discretion was exercised: death penalty-related communities or Middle East Conflict, all food communities were destroyed.

Luckily, my personal favorite "Fly Chicks For the Geeky Guy" survived; the "G-Spot Search Expedition" didn't. I have to wonder how Orkut expects the geeky guy to know how to satisfy the fly chicks.

While I was walking around like a zombie, I noticed that my friend "J to the K" was in jail and his communities were being deleted as well. Then, just like that, he was gone. The place started to stink of collective punishment.

Then, abruptly, at 22:13 my own digital heart stopped beating.

I love you all.

Posted by huyzing at February 24, 2004 05:26 PM | TrackBack

I'm pissed they took away "Pho Freaks."

Posted by: Joe Kwak on February 24, 2004 05:32 PM

Come back! Keep in touch!

Posted by: Yi Shi on February 24, 2004 05:54 PM

Huy, please keep in touch, not only were you really fucking cool, but an inspiration!

Take it easy and remember its *just* the internet.

Posted by: Bradders on February 24, 2004 06:16 PM

You're definately missed, everywhere I went there you were!

Now there's this big missing void of wifebeater/soulpatch in Orkut without you.

(you didn't slip anything funky into Orkut's drink at his party did you?)

Posted by: ninjabong on February 24, 2004 06:43 PM

So, what might possibly be the reason behind this? Obviously, we've heard stories of people disappearing. In many cases, there's really nothing obvious as to what caused it, or who might have done it, or why.

But, every story has more than one side, and I'd be interested in finding out something to each one.

Posted by: Eric on February 25, 2004 12:04 PM

Hi! I had the same thing happen to me on Monday as well! I was in 253 communities, and when I attempted to login to the Orkut system, I found out that my account and everything with it had been deletded. I contacted ORKUT (admin and help) - with no response. This has apparently happened to a bunch of people. Did you ever find out what happened?

Posted by: karina on February 27, 2004 01:20 PM

Yes, Huy, *please* come back. Your presence is missed on Orkut, but then again, the drama your sudden disappearance inspired has been quite entertaining: all the trappings of Dynasty without the shoulder-pads...

You'll be happy to know that the a new term has been coined in your honoour: when someone is abruptly removed from Orkut, they have been "Zing'd" :-)


Posted by: Ryan Schultz on February 27, 2004 04:15 PM

*sigh* I really wanted you on my network too. :P
Come back, no one creates cliques like you can.

Posted by: prema on February 28, 2004 08:26 PM

I loved g spot expedition. That club was the greatest, and side note, I am a fly girl trying to be satisfied. What the hell am I going to do now?

Posted by: on February 28, 2004 10:04 PM

Don't you think that 750+ communities is a little absurd? Obviously you couldn't actively participate in that many (and if you can you need to get a life), so why not let someone who can actively grow the community own and operate it?

Been reading over you story both here and in Orkut and I gotta say, seems like you were just being "silly." And quite honsetly that's a type of "silly" I'd rather not see going on there.

Am I missing something here? Because if I am, correct me and I'll change my mind, but I fail to see how you having a robot create tons of communities as being considered acceptable behavior. Or were you over-exagerating on the robot and number of communities?

Posted by: Matt on March 3, 2004 08:24 AM

i wish huy zing would disappear from orkut at least 3-4 times a week! this is great entertainment!

Posted by: Enki on March 3, 2004 05:01 PM

This just underscores how badly we need a distributed mechanism for stitching together electronic communities. Having "quality" get arbitrated by a single, monolithic entity (be it orkut, friendster, or whatever) is always going to be a recipe for unfair treatment.

Exclusion from a community wouldn't be a big deal except that these community hubs make exclusion global. You aren't just excluded from Eminem or Debian Linux, you get excluded from the world and that sucks.

Posted by: Ean Schuessler on March 8, 2004 10:55 AM

Come back dude.. as a girl this time!! ;p

Posted by: JErm on March 8, 2004 11:00 PM
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