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Timothy Kim | April 2, 2012 | Lifestyle Story Tech World Culture

Here is the best thing about Schemer, a new Google service that allows its users to create and share lists of things they want to do: It has personality. Its logo sports a curlicue mustache, its introductory YouTube clip has all the slickness of a Super Bowl beer commercial (the actors embody the mock bravado of Dos Equis’s Most Interesting Man in the World), and its copy exhorts so-called Schemers to “stay sexy & stay mischievous.” The level of irreverence is a welcome departure from Google’s cold, Big Tech aesthetic. If only Schemer’s functionality could live up to its attitude. Instead, you log in, scan what the locals in your area are doing (“Try bread from Tartine” or “Lose 10 pounds”), and check either “I want to do it” or the hipster’s “Already done it.” You won’t discover much that you don’t already know about—unless biking the Golden Gate Bridge is revelatory—and the conversation in the comment threads for each activity is mildly interesting at best. Schemer feels like the result of some halfhearted trend-chasing over at Google headquarters; the company has provided some of the most essential services in the world, but this one doesn’t quite hit the mark.



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