Google’s Buzzing, again

February 10, 2010 by Jamaal 

Google BuzzIn case you missed Google’s Press Conference last night, Google launched a new social platform called Google Buzz. The Web has shifted to becoming extremely social and interactive in recent years, and this is going to continue without a doubt. Twitter and Facebook have been dominating the “conversations” on the Web, and now Google Buzz appears that it might change things – perhaps totally, but definitely in some or other way.

According to Google, Google Buzz is “a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting and share updates, photos, videos and more. Buzz is built right into Gmail, so there’s nothing to set up — you’re automatically following the people you email and chat with the most.”

Before I continue, I want to say this: In my talks and writings over the past 2 years I have been emphasizing the importance of principles, not technical intricacies. The technologies are ever-changing – these websites that we know now were not around a few years ago, and they will be drastically improved and changed, or even replaced, in the coming years. My focus is on the underlying principles and fundamentals about why Web 2.0 and Social Media is so powerful. Once you have a grasp of them, the technology changes will not affect your ability to harness the full potentials of the online tools available.

Back to Google Buzz…

We’re not sure about the affect that this new platform will have on Twitter and Facebook. Firstly, it allows for status updates, commenting, liking, and also integrates with blogs, Flickr, and YouTube. It has a “Friendfeed” feeling to it as well. The only thing that stumps me at present is that it sits within Gmail, and on a “Google Profile” page. Personally, I use my Gmail account very rarely – my business emails are all in Google Apps accounts. Buzz will be integrated, but only in a few months time. There has been no talk of an API – but I don’t see Buzz surviving without it. Due to the API of the other social networks, I manage Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn via TweetDeck. This simplifies my life a whole lot, and makes my social interaction much more valuable.

I agree with Augie Ray from Forrester Research:

“While bringing relevance filtering to the noisy social media world could prove a significant advantage, this doesn’t (yet) seem to be enough to pull people away from the networks they’ve already created elsewhere. Buzz doesn’t update user’s Twitter or Facebook feeds, so I expect experimentation but not wholesale switching in the foreseeable future. Buzz could end up supplementing rather than replacing users’ other social networks for now.”

What does get me excited about Buzz is the mobile access – available at buzz.google.com – and the extremely advanced integration with Google Maps.

Google Buzz Google Buzz

Google says:

With Buzz for mobile, we hope you can start interesting conversations about places and be more spontaneous when you are out and about. How many times have you missed a fun event, even though it was nearby? Or a better choice of dessert, just because you didn’t know about it? How often have you wondered “Where are you?” when reading a text message from a friend? Now, you can use Buzz to learn that there is going to be a movie night at your favorite park, share with the world that there is an awesome ice cream place right around the corner, or tell your friends about that delicious homemade lasagna.

The Google Buzz for mobile video explains it all:

The mobile component of Google Buzz is believed to impact Foursquare, and I think that will prove true, at least to some extent.

Mashable’s article “Google Goes Social with Google Buzz” gives a very nice overview of Google Buzz – read it here.

Also, read these very useful Mashable articles (all posted only hours after the release of Google Buzz):

What Google Buzz Means for Mobile
The Location Implications of Google Buzz
target=”_blank”Google Buzz: What It Means for Twitter and Facebook
Google Buzz: Competitors and Experts React
Google Buzz: Will You Use It? [POLL]

I was surprised to receive access to Google Buzz immediately, I assumed US users would be linked up first. You can connect to me at http://www.google.com/profiles/jamaal786. I’ve been following the conversations on Twitter, and many folks can connect to Buzz via their mobiles, but not yet via their Gmail accounts on the Web.

Of course, if you want to avoid the Buzz altogether, this article might be of use to you: Banish Google Buzz Updates from Your Gmail Inbox.

At the time of writing this post, about 7 hours after the Google announcement, the topic is still very hot online, with blog posts being written, podcasts been produced, and thousands of tweets flooding Twitter. I’ve estimated about 2, 500 new tweets with the words “Google Buzz” every 3 minutes. You do the math.

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