Friendster, a social networking site, recently raised USD 1 million from a group of high-profile investors. It has been described as having eBay-like characteristics in connecting people. Writes A Washington Post:

In the Friendster world, users fill out profiles with their relationship status and list their interests. Then they get their friends to write testimonials about them. You rack up friends by sending e-mails inviting your friends to join Friendster. You and your friends can invite as many friends as you want. But you’re going to be able to browse the network only to four degrees removed from you. Any more than that, according to its founder Jonathan Abrams, and your world gets too big, defeating the purpose.

Once connected, Abrams hopes that people will search the profiles in their groups and use them to seek dates, professional opportunities and friends in what is theoretically a safer and more manageable world than the wide-open Web.

Abrams, a software engineer who worked at Netscape before striking out on his own, said he created Friendster to help his own friends, who didn’t feel comfortable meeting people the old-fashioned way, through online classified ads.

2003 seems to shaping up as the “social software and networking” year!

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.