The Buzz of Google’s Buzz Isn’t Just Buzz
Google Buzz, Google Buzz, Google Buzz – the Internet is very, very excited at the moment about the latest software release from Google, and for good reason. Unlike the underwhelming Google Wave product, this may be, for lack of a better and less overused word, a “gamechanger”.
If the concept of the Facebook Feed, which has now been replicated in countless services since its debut, were implemented within Google’s Gmail and given some of the functionality of Wave, Google Buzz would be the result. It seems as if Google learned their lesson of trying to do too much with a single piece of software in one release, toned some of the multi-user/autoload functionality down a bit, and connected it with APIs, along with a user’s Google Profile.
It’s a little early to say if this will catch on with mainstream users, since the debut was only 24 hours ago, but there is potential. The interface is intuitive, the data just a shade from being overwhelming, and there’s no crazy features to confuse user, similar to if Google Wave were relaunched with someone from marketing involved.
Although coincidental, it’s interesting that this newest open data sharing format and delivery method was released just as discussions began about Facebook being the modern version of AOL, walling off all their data and their users from the rest of the Internet. This is an important point, because while the ideas and implementation of Buzz are not new, by any means, the data is open – Facebook’s is not. For many users, this may not be of any interest, but as Facebook continues to make design changes at random, implement less-private privacy controls, and make various other user-unfriendly decisions, sites that allow both the exporting and importing of data to their profiles will undoubtedly become more interesting, Google Buzz included.
As Google slowly morphs Buzz into a socially-oriented version of Wave, and inevitably inches closer toward being a social network in its own right, they can be expected to use this open data point as a weapon against competitors and naysayers, for good reason. Friendfeed, for all its potential merits, sold out to Facebook and left many unhappy with the outcome – here’s to a web giant handling social networking, data, “the endgame”, and privacy correctly.