It is amazing what not being able to easily have something will do to people. On From the Crossroads, my business weblog, I've posted a few articles on Orkut.com. For those of you who don't know, Orkut is an invite only social-networking tool. The idea is I have a circle of friends, and I can browse around and find friends of friends for business or personal networking. Neat idea, but it's been done a dozen times - most notably by Friendster. What makes Orkut different is that it is invite only, thus we have the Orkut Effect.
People will go searching the Internet looking for an invite, as witnessed by the number of searches I've received from people who have entered "orkut invite" or some similarly worded phrase. Right now, I have 15 "friends" in Orkut, and only 2 of them I've ever met. Of the remaining 13, only 3 more of them are people I actually know. The other 10 are all people who've emailed me asking for an invite. Some of them are actually using the system. One guy already has a network of 20 friends built up. Apparently all of his buddies were on Orkut, but no one would invite him. :)
Anyhow, I think it's interesting how folks will email a perfect stranger and ask for an invite into an "invitation" only site. Pretty interesting. So, next time someone you don't know asks you to do something, you'll know it's just the Orkut Effect at work.