There’s always something to howl about

Google releases a Buzz which may be a BuzzKill for others

I’m sure we can all agree that Google is big. Huge in fact. From what I understand they had a Super Bowl add this year. Who Dat? Google Dat! But everything they do is not always a hit. When was the last time you checked out Knol?

Moving along. This morning the buzz around the web is that Google has introduced the Twitter/Facebook killer with Google Buzz. Poor Twitter gets killed ever once and awhile and so is apparently a cat of nine lives on it’s final death bed. Just don’t tell that to the 14 bazillion users out there tweeting at this very moment.

One big part of this domination tool though is Geolocation.

At first look, Google Buzz reminds me of Pownce. A twitter-like social network that came along about the same time twitter became popular and allowed your to share files, photos and other media in your updates. Pownce, of course, with many of the others have fallen by the statusphere wayside or are still being populated with home listing updates via from Realtors trained by geniuses that tell them the more spam they have in their nature, the better their homes will sell.

Back to Google. Here’s a look at all the Buzz from the release video:

I have not been able to log into the Gmail inbox interface yet, but I did have a chance to take a look at the mobile version on my iPhone. Now here’s where it might get interesting despite what Google’s biggest competitors think.

My first look on the iPhone. The top two nav features are “Following”, which is who’s in your network and “Nearby”, anyone checking in around your given location. Which is great considering mobile home page is location aware and features “near me now” already. After giving Buzz approval to locate you via GPS what you find is something that looks like this… and where it gets interesting is in the layers:

Unlike Twitter it’s all about location when your take a look at what’s happening nearby. Comments to each update can be threaded.

Like Foursquare a drop down menu of nearby pinpoints will allow you to choose one and make an update from that location.

This ties in easily with place pages, where you can phone direct, open up a map, or read reviews just like on Yelp.

Open up the map and Buzz can be layered with traffic and other data, move around and zoom in on any area of the city.

I’m just scratching the surface of this as you can also share privately, import stuff from other sites like Twitter, Flickr, Picassa, and Reader, plus do everything right from the integration in you Gmail inbox.

Something else that was cool is to see how this all played out on on the Internet. After I received my first reply from Mark Eckenrode, I was given a link to a page just like what Twitter does for individual messages. Except from here I could reply on the page…

… or view his profile (looks a lot like Twitter)

… and that brought me back to my Google Profile, where you’ll now find a public Buzz stream included.

So now Google me… or yourself and see what happens. Just more data. Connecting more dots and building a stronger social graph of who you are, where you can be found, and what you are doing while your are there. This could be big. It ties in from many different points to offer the user a rich experience and even though we draw comparisons for other social networks with Open Data Standards, the platform is anything but Facebook.

A very interesting move in the Geolocation game. As always, the winner has the users and almost everyone uses Google. Not a bad place to start.

I can see plenty of uses for this as well as reason to have concerns about safety. But I would much rather hear your take on it. What does all this noise mean to you?

Related posts:
  • Buzzing about Google Buzz
  • Google and the artifacts of inefficiency
  • Google Plus = MySpace Redux?


    12 Comments so far

    1. Laurie Manny February 10th, 2010 2:17 am

      How to Hide/Remove Google Buzz Updates from Your Gmail Inbox or delete it if you don’t like it.

    2. Ken brand February 10th, 2010 5:22 am

      Nice post. Thanks for explaining things so clearly. Laurie, thanks for sharing the Buzz Throttle link.


    3. Jim Calabrese February 10th, 2010 5:51 am

      Brad – thanks for staying up late to keep us updated on Buzz. I’ve been saying that Google had the makings of a killer social network for some time. They just needed to connect more of their services. This is how I’ve been preparing for Buzz:

      Updating my Google Profiles (business & personal).

      Creating Picasa Web Album content.

      Switching from Outlook to Gmail as my default email editor.

      Creating contact groups in Gmail to match my Friend Lists on Facebook.

    4. Cheryl Johnson February 10th, 2010 7:53 am

      OK, I’m in via iPhone. Still no Buzz on my desktop Gmail dashboard.

      BUT, I decided not to set my location until I get to the office.

      Broadcasting my home address to the whole world is just a little too much transparency for me. Does anyone else feel that way? Or am I just being a little old lady?

    5. [...] Google releases a Buzz which may be a BuzzKill for others [...]

    6. Travis Egan February 10th, 2010 8:42 am

      It will be interesting to see how quickly Google Buzz takes off. There are so many platforms out there, but Google dominates pretty much everything. I tend to sit back and see how others have figured out how to implement into their businesses. This one is certainly worth watching.

    7. Robert Worthington February 10th, 2010 8:55 am

      Nicely done Brad! I did not even know of G Buzz before you had mentioned it. I will surely try it out.

    8. Vicki Lloyd February 10th, 2010 10:04 am

      Hi Brad –

      Something about this just creeps me out! Google knows what I search for, where I live, who I know, and now wants to track where I go, what I’m doing (and who with) and what I say about it.

      I don’t have anything to hide, but it seems just a little bit too “Big Brother” to me!

    9. Laurie Manny February 10th, 2010 10:25 am


      You will enjoy this Google Toilet video, it expresses your concerns……..

    10. Brad Coy February 10th, 2010 12:03 pm

      Vicki, Cheryl,

      Yes, I’d be careful about how your share your location, public or private. I never share my home address publicly or with people I don’t know. Although, I have friends that feel differently.

      It seems with most of Google’s functions as longs as you’re signed into a Google site, you personal data is being archived or used for adds. Look into your dashboard for settings and privacy policies

      Laurie, tip of the hat on the inbox control. It was something that I was going to address in the post initially, but decided to wait until I had first hand experience. What I do with most bacn from social sites is create a filter > mark as read (most sites)> label(social network) > and archive. Helps greatly in keeping your inbox at a minimum.

    11. Teri Lussier February 10th, 2010 4:44 pm

      Great job, Brad.

      Last month I made a concerted effort to get off the Google Train. I’m sick to death of all the ads, the lack of privacy, the constant connection.

      I believe we are meant to be connected almost continuously. I believe the hive, the borg, whatever, is inevitable. But. If I have a choice to slow it down, or participate at will, I’m going to take it. Solitude is a wonderful thing. Besides, I’m not all that interesting to keep track of, and honestly, neither is anyone else.

    12. Brad Coy February 10th, 2010 10:27 pm

      Thank you Teri,

      Balance is not only a good thing, it’s essential in our modern work environments online and off. The only time-clock we now have is our own. I take pains everyday to enforce better habits for better productivity and not buy into “the fix”.

      With Google there are ways to get rid of ads in Gmail and with Apps premier. Your privacy on the other hand is a matter worth looking into further.