Communities are places where you can gather and find people of like interests. Anyone can create a community, and they can specify the category and whether joining is open to anyone or moderated.
Communities allow discussion postings, but each post is limited to 2048 characters. The community can also maintain a group calendar, so members could add events, such as dates of social gatherings.
Trouble in Paradise
Orkut is plagued with spam, mostly in Portuguese, because Brazillians make up the majority of Orkut users. Spammers often make spam postings to communities and sometimes flood communities with repeated messages. Orkut has a "report as bogus" system to report spammers and other violations of the terms of service, but problems persist.
Orkut is often sluggish, and its not unusual to see the warning message, "Bad, bad server. No donut for you.
The Bottom Line
The Orkut interface is more pleasant and cleanly designed than comparable Friendster or Myspace. The large Brazillian population also gives it a more international feel. It also feels special to be invited, rather than just allowing anyone to register an account.
However, problems with server down times and spam may make the alternatives more appealing. Google Beta is usually a higher standard than the traditional beta. Orkut, however, really feels like a beta.