Social media has officially become busy, cluttered and unruly - at least for me. Google Buzz sent me over the edge. I have a "Buzzache" from overthinking the social update blast service that the company unveiled yesterday. And, just in the past few hours I've come up with a handful of things I love and hate about it.
My goal with this post was to offer some sort of analytical, insightful thought on Buzz - but I'm all over the place here. And when I find my mind wandering in 20 different directions, the best course of action is for me to make a list. So, with no focus or structure or sense of organization, here are my random thoughts about Buzz. Feel free to add your own in the talkbacks.
- Why can't it have better integration with Twitter, where I already have an established network of followers and followees. Better yet, as fellow ZDNet blogger Jason Perlow tweeted this morning, "Cant Google just BUY Twitter? And ditch the 140 character crap? Wouldn't that make our lives easier?" Amen, Jason.
- Google should have waited on Buzz and released it as part of Wave, instead of Gmail. There's already a lot happening in Wave - or at least will be happening once the service evolves a bit more. Adding a bit more isn't necessarily a bad thing in a service like that - after all, it's just another tool within the larger communications platform. If Buzz really took off as an element of Wave, then it could have been broken off as a standalone.
- Why did Buzz have to be part of GMail? With all of the new forms of communication out there, is e-mail really the central part of the daily experience anymore? I have to admit that on most mornings, I scan important emails on my smartphone but normally don't launch the inbox and tackle the rest of them until a couple of hours into the day.
- The Internet blowhards are simply taking what they do on Twitter - blasting their rants and posting links - are transferring it to Buzz. Add in the comments from other people, and the Buzz window quickly gets hijacked to create even more clutter. Not only am I now listening to the same blowhard on Twitter, but now I'm also being bombarded on Buzz by the comments that his followers are posting, too. More noise. More noise. More noise.
- I like the way Google is bringing it all together on Buzz, the links and the images from those links, as well as an easy-to-follow tree for following the comments - but that's not really anything innovative, is it? It's just a (not so) different form of presentation from the others.
- We need a better-than-FriendFeed type of aggregator, a common place where we can bring everything into one central place. I like what Yoono is doing with the Mac desktop application and its Firefox browser add-on - but even that is still a work-in-progress. I found that the plug-in (but still unsure about the desktop app) hits its limit on Twitter and Facebook updates - and then needs you to go in and delete some. (Yeah, like I'm really going to go in and do that.) We need someone to do for social networking what Mint.com did for personal finance - bring it all together in one place but make it easier to filter and search.
Any other thoughts? Bring 'em, please.
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- Meet Google Buzz: Google goes social [live blog]
- Gallery: What the Google Buzz is all about
- Mary Jo Foley: Microsoft on Google Buzz: Been there, done that
- Matthew Miller: Google Buzz goes mobile, except for BlackBerry and webOS
- Dion Hinchcliffe: First impressions of Google Buzz: Smart, useful, long road ahead