Today Google opened features on Google Maps that allow users to create a social profile highlighting reviews they've written, maps they've created, and a stream of updates to both. Additionally, the page includes the sidebar that was launched with Google Shared Stuff, a universal bookmarking/sharing service similar to Digg / Del.icio.us that Google unraveled last week. Currently Google Shared Stuff is a confusing product because it overlaps with Google Reader's social features, as well as Google Bookmarks, but since you can email articles, save them, publish them, and even bookmark them to other social networks (Digg for example), it's a powerful social tool. In the mean time, within one week Google has unveiled the beginning of a social network that is part Yelp, part Digg, and potentially much more diverse and powerful. Pretty soon I expect to have all of the items I share from Google products available in one place - when I add a location to my map, when I share a Google Reader item, when I upload a Picasa photo, and more. If this is integrated with Google's recently purchased Twitter Competitor Jaiku, then I will switch to Jaiku. If this all creates a universal sidebar that I can add to Blogger, then my blog will be my ultimate social publishing tool (it is slowly becoming that now, but with a great deal of work and adding of numerous widgets). And if this is all combined with Orkut, Google's popular everywhere-but-the-U.S. social network, then this the a potentially all encompassing social platform. And I'm sure all this will happen relatively soon, since the last week has pointed them in that direction, and they aren't waiting around for me to give them half-fledged ideas on this blog.
A quick shout-out - I'm writing this while sitting at Gregory's Coffee shop on Park Ave, and while I am resisting the urge to drink coffee, it smells amazing. I'll have to remember to come back!