Google spawns social networking service | CNET News.com: "A Google representative said that the site is the independent project of one of its engineers, Orkut Buyukkokten, who works on user interface design for Google. Buyukkokten, a computer science doctoral candidate at Stanford University before joining Google, created Orkut.com in the past several months by working on it about one day a week--an amount that Google asks all of its engineers to devote to personal projects. Buyukkokten, with the help of a few other engineers, developed Orkut out of his passion for social networking services...
The goal of a social networking service is a far cry from Google's long-stated mission of organizing the world's information. Instead of helping connect people to information on the Web, it would be helping people connect with other people.
It also once again raises the notion that Google aspires to become a portal like Yahoo, something that the company has long denied. Google already helps people shop, read news, thwart pop-up advertisements, get stock information and publish to the Web"
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