Networking (2)

by @gordonmacmillan, posted on 13 July, 2010 at 8:56 am, filed under Search Engines, Social Media, Social Networkingand tagged Facebook, Friendster, Google, Google Me, LinkedIn, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, Zynga. Bookmark thepermalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

More details are emerging that point to Google launching a social media website, called Google Me, to rival Facebook as it emerges the web giant is looking for web users to take part in a “usability study”.

According to Techcrunch, Google is asking people to take a short survey to qualify for the study, which is taking place in Dublin with the likely hood that it is also conducting similar studies in other markets.

The study also suggests that Google has a working demo site of what could be Google Me (although that’s almost certainly a working name — good as it is) that it wants to let users loose on.

The questions focus around on and offline social networking looking at how people are making their connection days to day; their social habits (do they play sport, meet friends for drinks?); and which methods they use most frequently to communicate with friends and family..

Other questions ask which social networking sites users regularly visit from a list topped by Facebook followed by Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendster and Orkut. It then asks about how many times they are accessing their “primary” social networking website (if they have one).

Another question asks about content habits and whether users have shared photos, video, reviews and blog posts.

The Google social networking site story kicked off at the tail end of June when Digg founder Kevin Rose tweeted that Google Me was a real project. This was followed by D’Angelo, the former Facebook’s CTO and founder of Q&A service Quora, who added more meat to the rumour when he posted that there were a large number of people at Google working on it.

Yesterday in a possibly related move Google invested as much as $200m in social gaming business Zynga. That expanded its social media footprint and possibly giving it access to a wealth of social media gaming for its planned site launch.

It is extremely exciting development and a necessary one. At the moment Facebook looks almost unassailable even with its tribulations around privacy. Those issues, and Facebook’s attitude to them, clearly make people uneasy, but there seems a widespread reluctance to leave it. I think part of that is ground in the idea that at the moment there is no widespread alternative to Facebook. Google could change that and offer a viable alternative and give Mark Zuckerberg and company a run for their money.

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From Microsoft line of communication devices are the all new Microsoft Kin One and Two phones. The dual phones have been designed specifically to enable people actively engage and navigate their social lives..

The KIN has been designed as the phone to provide an ultimate and never before social web experience and excitement with sites like facebook,Twitter, YouTube etc.

“We built KIN for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family. This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. KIN is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most.” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.

The home screen of the KIN (called the Loop) has been designed such that it always keeps users informed with events within their social world via notifications and beeps. It also automatically collates feeds from social sites like facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc, making it easier to always stay connected 24 hours.


The KIN One and the KIN Two phones both come in different designs and also both have a fun and simple interface. Social networking has been built as the core platform for the Microsoft KIN phones.

The KIN one and Two phones both feature capacitive touch screen, with slide-out keyboard style. The KIN One is compact and smaller in size to the KIN Two. The Two features a larger screen size with higher resolution. It also records high definition video.

The KIN one phone has a screen size of 2.6 inch and 320 x 240 pixel resolutions while the KIN Two has a screen size of 3.4 inch with a resolution screen of 480 x320.

Both phones feature single silver home buttons with glossy black bezel and have tactile QWERTY keyboards.


The two major features on the KIN phones are the Spot and Loop. With the Loop, social contents (facebook, twitter etc) are collated in an order of priority by how they are sorted. The Spot which works more like an attach button, enables users drag and share different contents like maps, images, videos, status updates and share among friends.

Both devices are powered by 600 MHz processors and packs 256 MB RAM. The KIN One and KIN Two have 4GB and 8GB internal storage respectively .They also both come with rear facing cameras,a 5 megapixel camera in the KIN One and an 8 megapixel Camera in the KIN Two. The Camera has metallic shutter buttons and LED flash.

The phones also integrate with the Zune experience- providing music, FM radio, podcast playback and video, which can all be accessed on online store via a Zune Pass subscription from Zune Marketplace.

The devices come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, Micro USB port, Wi-Fi and 2.1 Bluetooth. Both phones also come with a tiny 5V USB adaptor and have batteries of 1240mAh and 1390mAh respectively for the KIN One and KIN Two phones.


Pricing of the phones have not yet been disclosed, but they would be available as from May 2010.

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