Friday, February 12, 2010

Buzz - I wonder why it does

Apparently web based social services need to be named after animal noises. We have Twitter and now Buzz, so that's the birds and the bees covered. Hopefully Microsoft or Yahoo can get in on the act with something with a bit more grunt - Oink! Or "Moo" perhaps...

Seriously though, a few things struck me about Buzz that I wanted to share.

Google has, via gmail, been collecting a lot of my social capital. It knows who I talk to most, and presumably at least semantically, what I talk about with whom. In the back of my mind, I was vaguely aware that this was going on, but Google's "don't be evil" mantra kind of reassured me that this data wouldn't be exploited. With the launch of Buzz, it becomes apparent precisely the scope and scale of this profile mining excerise that Gmail has been. As a heavy Gmail user, buzz came pre-configured with all my friends, and had 75 interesting posts from them, at launch.

Compare this with Google Wave, which launched with an empty canvas. My Wave inbox still has 10 "waves" in it, all of which say roughly the same sort of thing: "wahoo! I'm on a Google wave..."

So is Buzz going to replace Facebook for me? - I hate to say it, but there's a real chance that it will. I live in Gmail, and only rarely visit facebook - mainly posting through my Twitter account. How is this going to affect workplaces? Will they begin limiting access to gmail, just as many today block Facebook? Will there be a Buzz for your Domain" feature, akin to Yammer for Google Apps? How would such a product fit in with the compliance and regulation governance rules around retention and records management?

As usual, more questions than answers. But I think this is really the most game changing thing I've seen from Google since Gmail itself. Crazy interesting times. Baa!

1 comment:

  1. Everything that Buzz was, Google Plus improved. It won't take a lot of time before it takes over and becomes an platform that integrates all of Google's apps.