With the recent launch of Google Buzz, I’ve been toying with it a bit when I’ve got the time. It’s different, definitely not what I was expected, but I think I kinda like it.
It’s a little bit Twitter, a little bit Facebook, a little bit FriendFeed. I used to look at Facebook as my semi-private “Internet Face” – my online profile if you will. But it was mostly private and closed in, and limited in terms of integrating external sites etc. Buzz does much the same thing but it’s a “Public Internet Face”. You can see what other people are doing, and than can see what you’re doing. Which is not to say you can’t keep things private – with everything you post you can choose to make public, or only visible to selected groups or individuals. It’s much more customizable than Facebook in that regard. And in terms of aggregating your online life, it so far does an excellent job.
Despite the over 9 million posts and comments (200 posts per minute from mobile phones), it’s still very early days. But just as Gmail was a slow start, Buzz looks like it could develop into quite a powerful tool. I’ll have to play around with it a lot more to truly get my thoughts on it, and I’ll post again soon when I’ve made my mind up.
In the meantime, check out the References for this post for a number of links with more information, and some interesting thoughts about Buzz and where it’s headed. Also check out my Google Profile – be my fwend?
Here are some initial things I don’t like, though, which should be addressed.
- Facebook integration. All it really needs to do is post buzzes to Facebook, but so far there’s no connection at all between the two. And that’ll be hard for Google – given Facebook has just recently said it intends to launch an online email service in direct competition with Gmail.
- For the love of god, please let me collapse buzzes. And comments should be hidden to begin with – if I want to read comments I’ll click the link, like in Facebook.
- Give us the option, if we wish, to keep things in chronological order. At the moment, when someone comments on another buzz, that buzz gets dragged back to the top of the page.
- Flesh out the Google Profile a little, yeah? Give people more prompters and ideas for what to put on the About Me page.
But what I do love, is how the mobile version is truly social. I just had a look at Buzz through the Maps app on my phone, and I can see where people have posted their buzzes – a few scattered around me, increasing a lot the closer you get to the city. This has huge potential. The other day when we got Melbourne’s Wild storms, it seemed everyone at work was glued to a radio giving me constant updates on where it was. “The rain’s hit Sunbury! 30 billion millimeters!” they’d scream, thinking I cared. Now, we don’t need to suffer through talkback radio – imagine searching for “rain” on Buzz, and limiting it to a 20 km radius in the last 10 minutes. You’d see the little speech bubbles popping up around you and you know where it is. I’m sure that could be useful, or more to the point a useful use could be made of that feature. (Note: search isn’t – to my knowledge – available like that yet. But I’m sure it will be eventually, it’s the sort of innovation Google’s famous for).
Anyone else using Buzz? What’s your profile page, and what do you think of it? Are you fed up with social media yet?