Google Buzz – First Impressions


If you use Google Gmail, you’ve probably already been offered to enable Buzz, which was released yesterday. Buzz is Google’s answer to Twitter and Facebook, and is designed to be the bedrock of their Social Media strategy.

I’ve only spent about an hour with it so far, and I don’t have any final thoughts yet, but I’ve found some things to like and some things to not like.

Likes

  • Integration with Gmail. Very easy to access.
  • Not in a beta ‘invite’ stage. It’s easy to find some people to follow. Google Wave probably suffered (and continues to) from a community of possible social connections.
  • URL’s are automatically converted to live hyperlinks.
  • Can insert photos and links easily.
  • Threaded conversations, similar to GWave.

Dislikes

  • Email notifications on updates of any/all buzz threads you’ve participated in. Seriously…#1 issue that needs to be resolved…quickly. You could be buried in emails in no time. Fortunately, it can be disabled (but not easily IMO)
  • Aesthetically, it’s a little too sparse and uninteresting for my tastes. I know some people like the Gmail “stripped-down” look though.
  • As of today, no Facebook integration.
  • In my short time with it, it appears very easy to get overwhelmed with buzzes. This was the early problem with Twitter, until Tweetdeck (groups) and eventually Twitter Lists, came around.

For me, the jury is still out. I’m not ditching Facebook or throwing in the towel and unplugging Buzz.

I saw someone Tweet to the effect…“Buzz didn’t explain to me why it’s useful so I disabled it”. Um…a healthy technologist’s viewpoint might be, ‘how do I find a use for this’ or ‘how does this solve my current problem with ____’. A hammer isn’t going to show you it’s usefulness, but many people have turned it into a necessary tool.

If you’re just getting started or need a few more pointers (including disabling the pesky email notifications), here’s a great link: “How to do everything in Google Buzz (Including Turn it Off)”.

Do you have any experiences (good or bad) with Buzz yet?

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Author:Craig Berry

Craig Berry is a Catholic web developer and musician.
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