The ongoing saga of Google's attempt to "get" social media has been full of so many disappointments--and more recently, so much silence--that sometimes it seems like the company has just given up on it entirely.
Whether Google's still working on a massive operation slated to take a bite out of Facebook's market share remains the stuff of rumor, but it has been making a subtle move here and there. Yesterday, the blog Google System noticed that Google's member profiles have undergone some notable interface changes like click-to-edit functionality. There are new fields to fill out, too: employment and education information, "bragging rights," and a field at the top of the page that prompts "ten words that describe you best" (not unlike the "write something about yourself" field that Facebook profiles used to have and no longer do).
Considering there have been rumors that Google Profiles would be the backbone of "Google Me," the working title for the alleged Google social-networking initiative, this is an interesting development, albeit a small one.
Perhaps of more interest to the average Google user is the fact that in the newly overhauled Google Profiles, you can get rid of the Google Buzz tab altogether. Buzz, a Twitter-like service launched to serious fanfare last year, has been a complete flop, and letting users remove it is a sign that it may be on its way out for good.