Thursday, February 11, 2010

Google Buzz: First Impressions

I've played around with the new Google Buzz.

Why is Buzz a big deal? This article explains, somewhat.

My take is that Buzz is trying to be both public and organized. I'll explain by describing how I do not use Facebook and Twitter normally.
I'm a terrible Facebook customer. All I do on Facebook is look at the "Friends, Status Updates" page. I spend as little time on Facebook as possible. I shun any games or add-ons. I don't see any ads because of Firefox's Adblock Plus. In other words, if my friends were willing to put their status updates in a public RSS feed I would quit Facebook.
Twitter is a public RSS feed. I'm not sure why most of my Facebook friends do not also use Twitter, since they never post anything very personal in their status updates. Perhaps they prefer Facebook because it keeps comments and "like" votes with the original status update.
I'm a terrible Twitter customer. I never visit its website! I only use my Twitter account to feed status updates through Firefox's Twitterbar to Facebook. This is more convenient than visiting Facebook to update my status, and I don't care that it is public instead of private. In other words, any better way to feed status updates to my Facebook friends would make me quit Twitter.
Buzz is ready to be the better Twitter. Buzz does what Twitter does, but also keeps comments and "like" votes with the original status update. (Buzz will be better once all of the third-party stuff like TweetDeck gets created for it. A user can direct any desired RSS feed into a Buzz profile to give friends an organized way to notice and comment on what the user is sharing with status, blog posts, photos, videos, readers, etc.)

So Buzz is currently reaching out to Twitter users.

I expect it will soon reach out to Facebook users, but it must overcome the privacy issue first. And Buzz is doing a miserable job of courting privacy-wary Facebook users. Currently the default privacy settings are too public, as this article describes.

What will Google do to woo the Facebook crowd? Will folks like most of my friends ever switch from private status updates to public ones?

If you want to see Buzz in action, you can look at my Google profile here, or my Buzz RSS feed here.

UPDATE: I realized Buzz also relates to Blogspot.
I'm a terrible blogger. I usually write medium-sized text-only posts without pictures. My blog has no unifying theme. Without pictures or a theme it has almost no following, and very few posts prompt comments. I just write to help myself process my thoughts and to let family and friends know what I am thinking about.
Buzz could easily replace Blogspot for me, once the tool-structures are created to sort updates in a sidebar by category and month, and to import a Blogspot archive (as Wordpress can do).

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