Google Develops Social Activity Service, Schemer

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Google is looking to inject fun back into social networking with the development of the Schemer service

Google continues to develop social side projects despite the closure of its Slide social software unit in favour of Google+.

A team at Google has created Schemer, which the press have described as being anything from an activity recommendation engine to a social goal management tool.

Activity Service

Essentially, it’s a web service that lets users plan fun activities, complete them and share their experiences of completing those activities with others.

Some examples of Schemer tasks include playing the large piano at FAO Schwarz in New York City or taking a bike ride up to Hawk Hill in San Francisco.

Those more inclined to have fun on the couch may elect to watch every movie made by acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, purveyor of the new, dark Batman films.

“Whether it’s exploring a new city, checking out a friend’s movie recommendations, or just finding new activities for your weekends, Schemer lets you discover new things to do, share schemes with friends, and make the most of your day,” goes the Schemer pitch on Google+. “Schemer is based on a simple yet powerful concept: schemes. A scheme is any activity you’d like to do.”

Schemers select “I want to do it” to save the scheme for later and tip friends off that they’re interested in participating.

Once finished, users select “I’ve done it” on Schemer, which will record it in a list of accomplishments. Schemer will over time recommend new schemes tailored to users’ interests.

Development Questions

Google’s Schemer cohorts for suggesting new things to do include TV stations such as Bravo, Entertainment Weekly and the Food Network, as well as websites such as Lifehacker and, and magazines such as Rolling Stone and Google’s own review service Zagat.

This may seem frivolous, if not pointless, in the early going. What is the motivation for recording the completion of fun activities on another website? Isn’t that what most people do on Facebook, or even Google+?

It’s quite possible Google will make Schemer into a game, awarding points that players may redeem at participating retailers in the form of discounts or deals. Perhaps it will be integrated with Google Offers, the company’s daily deals service.

Like Gmail and other Google products before it, Schemer is in beta and available by invite only. Those interested may request an invite at the Schemer website and follow Schemer on Google+.

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