With Google Me rumors picking up over the last several weeks yet another rumor has begun to make the rounds. This time it’s being said that a dedicated Google research team has been charting Social Networking functions to gain a better understanding of social media intricacies.
Apparently the researchers efforts include a 216-slide presentation with footnotes which has been posted on SlideShare. The slideshow is being used to help all people involved with Google Me build the new system, including designers, interface designers, programmers and other people involved not just with Google Me but with the social web as a whole.
The research will hopefully help organize social network in a more linear pattern, current offerings from Facebook, MySpace, Ning and other social networking websites are so complex that many users can’t find features they want to use, while new members to the social networking system feel overwhelmed by the systems currently available for use.
A more linear system will also allow engineers to better understand the systems they create, while allowing for more increases in scale when necessary.
One example Google is investigating is a better way to create “Groups of Friends” rather than just work, neighborhood and family friends. The hope is that they can correlate our offline and online lives to create the “niches” we live within. Google researchers have discovered that in real life our groups of friends tend to contain from 2-10 friends in each group. We also tend to only meet with some of those friends on a regular basis, a fact Google Researchers would like to find a solution for. Perhaps our work and family conversations will exist in separate spaces, allowing us to determine where messages should be posted.
The slide show created by Google Researchers spends a lot of time discussing how users should be able to share information with friends, while avoiding business contacts or even family members, creating a more closed, yet comfortable open network. It’s hard to deny your boss a Facebook friend request, but that doesn’t mean they have to see your messages about how much your job sucks.
So what do you think, is Google Me really becoming a reality? In my opinion all information points to yes.