Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, August 19, 2003

A Web site for people who want a million new friends

By Burt Lum

Imagine you're in college or thereabouts, you've moved out of the house, you're living on campus or nearby and you're making friends by the gangful. Life is good. But, you want more, particularly more friends.

Well, here's the perfect tool to broaden your reach: www.friendster.com.

The Friendster site is reminiscent of the Ryze.com site, but where Ryze puts itself out there as a business networking site, Friendster makes no bones about it; it's there to help you make friends.

Perhaps that's why there's an age difference between the two sites. As a business networking site, Ryze will naturally attract an older crowd. It's hard to get an accurate age demographic on Ryze because it doesn't post your age, unlike Friendster.

On the Friendster site most people seemed to be in their 20s or 30s. One passing comment about Ryze: Although it portrays itself as a business networking site, most people are there to socialize, too.

It's cool to learn about people's business interests, but socializing will occur first before any serious business takes place. And I have yet to see any real money exchanged.

The Friendster site is set up as a place to meet other people. As you set up your profile, it will ask if you are looking for a date, serious relationship, friends, activity partner (whatever that activity might be) or are just there to help. It will ask you what books, movies, music and TV shows you like.

Behind the scenes, it correlates this information and builds a database. So, as an example, if you said you like Pat Metheny as one of your music favorites, you can then click on the name Pat Metheny and it will show others who like the jazz guitarist. It gives you a common subject to discuss with a total stranger.

Another difference between the Ryze site and Friendster is the guest book.

On Ryze you can post a short message to a friend's guestbook. Friendster calls it a testimonial. As a result you get some hilarious, sometimes overly enthusiastic, endorsements for people.

Makes me feel like a recluse. ;-)

Burt Lum is one click away at www.brouhaha.net.