buzzOkay, so we've had Google Buzz for what boils down to a week now. And we've heard phrases like "what Wave should have been" or "the Twitter killer" or "the best thing in my Inbox." But on day 7 I think I'm going to assign my own analogy to Google Buzz.

To me - it's like drinking 'social' from a fire hydrant. Yeah - I said it. And While I think there are some incredible possibilities here it's another example of how Google has shoved something to the masses to see how they'll react. The only thing that really surprised me about this move by Google was that Google Buzz doesn't have "beta" stamped all over it.

So here's where I think I come out on this latest social frenzy - and yeah, it's a bit of a mixed review...

What Google's trying to do is great. The thought behind being able to simply "CC" the world on something is a bit overwhelming at first glance, however. In fact, right out of the box I find the stream of dialogue to be much more than I can manage. Of course, that's likely because I'm used to quick snippets that are currently found in my Twitterstream and Facebook page - but is that a bad thing? After all, with sorting and filtering features that are in Facebook and Twitter I can control the flow of information a bit - filter it, if you will. What Google Buzz seems to be missing the most is the ability to group users. I also feel that the Gmail integration is both a blessing and a curse. Seeing (27) new Buzz items causes me to click with an expectation of manageable content - only to be hit in the mouth a stream of consciousness that can be a bit... overwhelming. The interface of the UI definitely needs some work before it's going to be considered any type of contender with the likes of Twitter or Facebook.

It may have also been a bit presumptuous of Google to assume that I wanted my Contacts included or followed at all in such a public forum - or that I'd want the content sorted or delivered by people as opposed to the conversations. Again - more of a need for filtering/grouping as well as display options. Being able to comment on a Buzz in a hierarchical fashion as opposed to linear might be much easier to follow - and isn't that what the ultimate goal of conversation is supposed to be?

While I suspect that Google Wave integration is already in progress I'd like to see more blog and website plug-n-play features. Ultimately something along the lines of widgets or application modules for popular blogging platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Blogger, etc. Having just typed this it comes to mind that perhaps an open API is in order - or will at least become a demand from more savvy users or developers. I would envision something similar to the many bots we see now in Google Wave - doing translations, copies, follows, etc.

Additionally, I'm a Google App paying customer. This means that I have the Google platform functioning as my private domain's email management solution. As such, I'm unable to set up Google Buzz on my domain - but am forced to run it through my basic Gmail account. This I can appreciate as I suspect Google is fast at work on security settings, user management, and account filtering for starters. So at present I have the minor inconvenience of having a second tab open to get my Buzz. Not a complaint, mind you - just an observation.

nannyOf course if we're going to talk about how we need to view Google Buzz then we can't leave out the mobile delivery. So far the mobile view seems to be the most manageable and well integrated. I especially love the ability to see the Buzz that's near me based on my location and being able to fire up a Buzz Map. Hey, you never know who or what you'll see - this is the real world, baby.

Having said this... I'll be watching Google Buzz closely for updates and filters. In the meantime people should heed a gentle reminder that it never hurts to have a current (or at least complete) Google profile.

There's no sipping from this fountain at present. So here's to you, fellow fire hydrant drinkers. It's either quietly sitting unused or blasting social down your throat at 750 gallons per minute. So while you decide, I'm going to head out and make myself a new social icon for my blog to sit next to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the rest.

Oh wait... would that just be redundant?

Originally posted 2/16/10 on

Views: 100

Comment by Nancy Ford on February 19, 2010 at 3:41am
Oh your comment drinking "social" from a fire hydrant. Perfect. I'm a fan of google but have not been impressed with them shoving their Buzz down my throat. I'm with you on this one. :)


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