Google has unleashed Google Buzz. It feels somewhat like wave from the video, but there’s some unique things that make it like Twitter. Twitter on steroids. So far, it seems, the only thing out there is the new version of Google Maps. So what do the Gear Diary writers think about the latest Google thing?
Joel-It took me a minute to figure out HOW to get to the Buzz layer in the new version of Google Maps, version 4.0. Once I did, I joined up to Buzz straight away and was presented with a map of the Buzz in my city, Columbus, OH. I even found a fellow Buzzer less than a mile from my house. I think it’s really cool with the maps integration, but it brings up privacy issues. I hope that one of us finds a privacy setting similar to what Google Latitude has. PLUS if you go to your Google profile page, your followers can now see the top people you e-mail since they are your first people you follow on Buzz. Plus it automatically makes all Buzz public unless you choose to send it privately. Even with the privacy concerns, I like it, but I don’t see it replacing Twitter or Facebook.
I really like the idea of sharing pictures and media via Buzz. The video was really cool. So far, I think that Buzz is way better than wave as I can actually see myself using it. With Wave, I have still yet to figure out WHAT to use it for!
After getting Buzz in my Gmail, I discovered the really cool thing about it. It takes the best things about Twitter, adds Latitude, Gmail and other services to make a really interesting way of communicating. Google is throwing this against the wall to see if it will stick.
Carly-I think buzz is an idea that’s two years too late. Twitter and Facebook already fill the “sharing thoughts, links, randomness” niche. And they do so while offering another layer in between the user and the service. I just feel very exposed by buzz. And the way it is set up makes it damn near impossible to everyone’s updates, and the comments on those updates, and so on…plus I didn’t ask Google to shove everyone I’ve ever met who had a gmail account into my social stream. I prefer more control. For me, buzz is like the very worst of twitter and facebook rolled together.
Dan- I’m with Carly on this. I don’t like it at all so far. I like Twitter more and more and find that it works great for my needs. I like that it is not automatically connected with my Gmail. I don’t feel like there is all that much control on Buzz. Suddenly tons of people I email with showed up in it. But I may not want them to show up there. Personally I don’t want my email and my social networking system to be automatically integrated. There is a new app coming to the iPhone that will make posting images, videos and pictures to Twitter easier than ever. That excites me. This buzz thing… I need it to Buzz off. Now if only I could find a way to turn it off after Google so graciously AUTOMATICALLY turned it on for me.
Francis – Not showing in Gmail yet for me either. Maps layer works great though. So far not too bad, need to wait and spark up some Buzz in Gmail when its out. I have about a dozen other Buzz fans within a mile or so, I’m sure soon to see more.
Amy – I haven’t tried the Maps yet. I need to update my version. Right now, I just want to see what it does and how well it handles the traffic once its fully rolled out. Then, I can talk about it one way or another. If this does work as advertised, it will be easier than having to log into all my sites to do things. One site to rule them all!
Jason – Played around briefly w/ Buzz late yesterday evening. Mixed feelings so far. I like the integration to Gmail and Google Maps (see it fitting in nicely with Google’s app and Android ecosystem). I agree w/ Joel on Buzz versus Wave. Got Wave, and use it very rarely as it doesn’t (yet) fill any specific need for me or my regular needs. Everytime I’ve fired up Wave, everyone that’s on and using it gets the “OK, now what??” comments going. Maybe if/when it ties into Android/Mobile more…but right now, I’ve all but stopped using Wave. See the same for Buzz use for me, personally. Here’s the thing…I use Twitter and follow a lot of people that are NOT contacts in Gmail. My Gmail contacts are all friends & family that (honestly) would not likely use Buzz. While I can set Buzz up to be ‘followed’ my understanding is it’s a one-way feed to Twitter; so it doesn’t up replacing Twitter use for me at all. Interested to see how Buzz evolves — especially with regards to location-based info and updates. In that respect, I can see Buzz surpassing Foursquare instead of Twitter.
Amy – Just got Buzz in my Gmail. Its interesting so far. I like the integration with all the other Google sites, etc. I want to use it more and see what happens. I want to see if my other Google Contacts hop on the Buzz bandwagon or not. I want to see what the overlap with Facebook and twitter will be.
Michael – I think that Buzz is better than Wave, but I have seen a comment somewhere that rings true for me. It says basically that ‘Buzz was made for Google, not for us’, and was made out of fear of Twitter and Facebook and the like. In other words, as Google becomes bigger they are fending off threats much like Microsoft killed off Netscape by pushing out Internet Explorer in a way that forced folks to use it. By integrating it everywhere, it becomes part of the Google ecosystem so many of us use, and for better or worse, it might be something we start using even if better options exist elsewhere.
Joel – Very True Michael. What this is really about is getting Google more information about how we use the web. However, I don’t see how Buzz will get them more than they already have by indexing other social media sites.
Whether you like it, or hate it, we definitely talked about it. In a way, that is a win for Google. Only time will tell if the buzz about Google Buzz will continue to be used and talked about; or end up Google Wave.
So what do you, the readers, think about Google Buzz? Will you use it or do you think, like Wave, this will die on the vine? Let us know!